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Consequences of a DUI conviction for professional drivers

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2021 | Criminal Law |

Certain criminal convictions for some occupations can all but ruin a promising career. An ethics violation for a CPA makes that person less desirable for most companies, while an arson charge for a firefighter can limit opportunities in that field.

People who drive vehicles for a living face uncertain job prospects if convicted of a DUI offense.

Mandatory license suspension for DUI

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission reveals that individuals with a CDL face harsh penalties if convicted of a DUI in New Jersey. The first conviction in a passenger vehicle will result in a one-year CDL suspension. The offense also carries a three-to-twelve month suspension for the person’s regular driver’s license.

A second DUI conviction results in a permanently revoked CDL as well as a two-year basic driver license suspension. The penalties remain the same whether the driver operated the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or another controlled substance. A driver who refuses to submit to an alcohol test also faces the same severe penalties.

Other traffic violations

The state of New Jersey also posts the penalties for additional traffic violations for those with a CDL. These remain serious since they could prevent the person from performing his or her work duties. While first convictions of most traffic violations do not result in a CDL suspension, second and third convictions in the following categories could trigger suspensions of 60 to 120 days:

  • Excessive speeding more than 15 mph above the posted limit
  • Reckless driving showing wanton disregard for safety
  • Erratic lane changes
  • Following behind a vehicle too closely
  • Texting while driving that violates a state law

A CDL remains a condition of employment for many jobs. A CDL suspension or revocation could have serious consequences for professional drivers.