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Lost my CDL in Idaho, what are my options?

The Federal Government has decided that to drive a commercial motorized vehicle the operator must have certain skills and knowledge. In 1986 the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act was signed into law to create uniformity between the states, which up until this time each state had their own laws and regulations for commercial drivers. But in 1986 this all changed. After the passage of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act each state retained the right to issue driver’s license but had to establish minimum standards which included:
  • Every driver may only have one CDL license.
  • Drivers must pass specific tests and acquire certain skills to operate a heavy truck or bus.
  • The state must adopt minimum licensing standards.
The act did not require CDL drivers to acquire a federal driving license but did, instead, require each state to standardize their current CDL license program.

CDL and common traffic violations

Drivers who have a CDL license in Idaho can lose their license for a variety of driving infractions. The length of time for the license suspension is based on the type of offense. Serious traffic violations which can result in a suspension can include (Information provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation):
  • Excessive speed (15 or more miles above the posted speed limit),
  • Reckless driving,
  • Improper or erratic lane changes,
  • Following the vehicle ahead too closely,
  • Violation of any other motor vehicle traffic control laws which result in a fatal traffic accident,
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle without obtaining a CDL,
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a CDL in the driver’s possession,
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsements for the specific vehicle group being operated or for the passengers or type of cargo being transported,
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle while texting or while using a hand-held cell phone. Enforcement may vary from state to state.

What happens to my Idaho CDL if I get arrested for DUI?

According to the Idaho Transportation Department it is illegal to operate your commercial vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance. If you are convicted of a first time DUI you will lose your license for one year. Common alcohol related DUI offenses Drivers will have their license suspended for a year for the following DUI offenses:
  1. Driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance and your BAC is .04 percent or more.
  2. Driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance in a noncommercial vehicle when your blood alcohol concentration is .08 or higher.
  3. The driver refuses to take a blood alcohol content test.
What are your options if you lose your CDL for a year due to an alcohol related offense? Unfortunately, there are no options. The state of Idaho will not issue any type of work permit or conditional license if your license has been suspended after a DUI conviction or if you refused to take a chemical test.
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