Simply getting charged with drinking and driving in Ohio can cost you your commercial driver’s license. That, of course, means getting charged with what state law calls operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) can cost you your job as a commercial driver.
Police officers and state troopers in Ohio have the authority to impose administrative license suspensions in conjunction with OVI arrests. Such a suspension takes effect immediately, and it applies to both the driver’s own personal license and any CDL he or she holds. Even if a person were pulled over for allegedly driving under the influence in his or her own car, an administrative license suspension will apply to his or her CDL.
Law enforcement officials can make administrative license suspensions in the following circumstances:
- A driver registers a blood, breath, or urine alcohol concentration above the legal limit; or
- A driver refuses to submit breath, blood, and urine samples for alcohol and drug testing;
The suspension will last a minimum of 90 days, during which the person under penalty will not be allowed to legally operate any commercial vehicle. Appealing an administrative license suspension is possible, but that must be done within 30 days of the date on which the penalty was imposed or the first court date. Separate appeals processes exist for a personal driver’s license and a CDL.
Be aware, too, that an arrest for allegedly drinking or driving will show up on the record that the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles keeps on you. While a Franklin Country commercial driver DUI attorney can help you appeal to the BMV to get your CDL reinstated, sealing or expunging your driving record will not be possible. The best you can do in this regard is to ask your lawyer to share with your current or potential employer information about why the arrest and CDL suspension were made in error.
Here, I have focused specifically on administrative license suspensions because that is likely the greatest concern for CDL holders. It is also a penalty many Ohio drivers do not know exists until they find themselves subject to it.
All drivers charged with drinking and driving in central Ohio face stiff penalties that include jail time, high fines and a court-ordered license suspension. Several effective defenses against OVI convictions are available, so it will definitely help to consult with an experienced Franklin County DUI attorney. Calling The Maher Law Firm at (614) 205-2208 or contacting us online will cost you nothing. We take most cases on a flat fee basis and we can also help with criminal and traffic offenses separate from but related to the OVI charge.