In 1999, the United States government created the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act. Under this act the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)was created to ensure that states adopted new laws to decrease accidents and injuries from trucks and buses. States that failed to accept the new federal guidelines lost federal highway funding.
After 1999, the state of Washington was required to update their state laws to match the requirements outlined under the federal statutes.
Driving under the influence with a commercial driver’s license
If you have been arrested and convicted for driving under the influence in the state of Washington you will lose your commercial license for one year. This revocation will commence if you have been convicted of any of the following driving offenses:
- Convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Convicted of a hit and run
- You refuse to submit to a chemical test when asked to do so by a state law enforcement officer.
(Information about the regulations which outline suspensions can be found under RCW 46.25.090).
Arrested for DUI but not driving my commercial vehicle
If you have been arrested for DUI but you were not operating your commercial vehicle this can also trigger a commercial license revocation. What does this mean for you? If you have a commercial license it is imperative that you do not drink and drive or you may lose your right to operate a commercial vehicle.
Arrested for DUI- How can I save my commercial license?
If you are arrested for DUI you can face administrative penalties from the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state or criminal penalties if you are convicted of DUI.
As mentioned above, refusing to submit to a chemical test or taking the chemical test and failing the test, can result in an administrative license suspension of your Washington Commercial license. These penalties will be separate from criminal penalties and will be enforced even if you are ultimately found not guilty of DUI.
What if you are convicted of the criminal charge of drunk driving? If you are convicted of a DUI you will also have your license suspended for at least one year.
What can I do to save my commercial license?
What are your options? If you face administrative penalties you can challenge the suspension within 20 days from the date of your DUI arrest by requesting a hearing. If you fail to request a hearing or if the hearing examiner decides the Washington license suspension is valid your driver’s license will be suspended.
If you do not face a DUI administrative suspension but you have been charged with DUI, than to keep your license you must prove that you were not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
It is recommended that you discuss your case with a Washington DUI lawyer who understands the DUI laws of your state and can review your DUI case and let you know if the best course of action. If you fail to fight the charges you will lose your commercial license for one year and you will not be able to get any type of work permit to continue to drive.
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