helps people win back their lives
Commercial Driver DUI
In Michigan, commercial driver's license (CDL) holders are held to stricter standards than non-commercial drivers when it comes to alcohol-related driving offenses. For example, a non-commercial driver may be convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI) for driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, while a CDL holder may face drunk driving charges for driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04% or higher. If you have a farmer's endorsement, review our farmer's CDL OWI page here.Out-of-Service Orders
Michigan also enforces out-of-service orders for CDL holders who violate certain regulations. An out-of-service order means that you cannot operate a commercial vehicle for 24 hours.
You may receive an out-of-service order for the following:
- Consuming alcohol within four hours of operating a commercial vehicle
- Consuming alcohol while operating a commercial vehicle
- Having a BAC of .015% prior to or while operating a commercial vehicle
- Refusing to take a preliminary breath test
In Michigan, you are required to hold a chauffeur license if your job entails transporting people or goods in vehicles up to certain capacities. For example, you must have a chauffeur license to drive:
- A taxi
- A limousine
- A school bus
- A public bus
- CDL vs. Chauffeur License
A chauffeur license essentially is a step between an ordinary operator's license (commonly referred to as a driver's license) and a commercial driver's license (CDL). In Michigan, a chauffeur license authorizes you to operate vehicles weighing up to 26,000 pounds or that can carry up to 15 passengers. However, you will need to obtain a CDL if your job requires you to operate a vehicle that:
- Weighs 26,001 pounds or more
- Can carry 16 or more passengers
- Transports hazardous materials in amounts that require placarding
- OWI Penalties for CDL Holders
If you are arrested for and found guilty of drunk or drugged driving, you could face a period of license suspension, even if it is your first offense. This is true, even if you are in your own vehicle when you are pulled over. If you depend on your CDL or chauffeur license for work, this could mean time off from your job or, even worse, the loss of employment altogether. To make matters worse, if you are caught driving under the influence while transporting passengers, you could face additional criminal charges.
It is also important to understand that your employer may act on your employment before your court case is even heard. They could also make decisions based upon the resulting court case and resolution. When it comes to protecting your career, it is imperative that you understand the specific penalties that are associated with each individual charge or ticket. You do not want to agree to any plea offer without fully understanding how your license will be affected. Even a great offer may hide an unconsidered license penalty. Instead, you need to speak to attorneys who understand all the ramifications of your current charges and are willing to fight to preserve your driving privileges.