Super Lawyers
Justia Lawyer Rating
Best Lawyers
The Best Lawyers in America
Avvo Clients' Choice
Avvo Rating 10.0
National College for DUI Defense
National Collage for DUI Defense
American Council Of Second Amendment Lawyers

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
Chauffeur License

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.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Patrick Barone is the ONLY choice for DUI defense. He was realistic from the start and made it a point to look at my case before taking my money. As a business owner, when I think of attorneys, I think of the "shark infested waters. Patrick is a shark alright, but his prey is not the client; it's justice for his client. Ten stars Patrick!! Chris F.
★★★★★
Attorney Patrick Barone was very helpful and helped me understand the charge and sentence absolutely clearly. He also guided me through step by step helping me form a statement. His instructions were clear and detailed. It was obvious he cared about me understanding every important detail within my case. I would absolutely recommend this defense firm to anyone in need. Aaron B.
★★★★★
The Barone Defense Firm is the firm I recommend. They are truly concerned about the person, not just the legal issue, but the person as well. They are the most knowledgeable defense firm that I am aware of, having actually written the book on DWI Defense. If you are faced with a DWI you will not find a more professional and skilled law firm. But, most importantly, they care about how the accused individual recovers his or her life when the case is complete. Very remarkable group of lawyers. William H.