Can You Get a CDL with a DUI on Your Record

Written By: Moermond & Mulligan, LLC

Last Updated: 06-07-2024

Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2024 at 9:00 am    

Can You Get a CDL with a DUI on Your Record Image

Are you wondering if you can get a CDL with a DUI on your record? If you’re facing a DUI charge in Ohio and either hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or are aiming to obtain one, you’re probably unsure about your future on the road. A DUI can seriously impact your driving career, but the path forward isn’t always clear-cut.


What is DUI and OVI? In Ohio, the term OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired) is the official designation for what is commonly referred to as DUI (Driving Under the Influence). The law encompasses all instances where a driver is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.

Law enforcement and the public may still use DUI informally, but the formal charges and legal proceedings refer to OVI. What happens if a truck driver gets a DUI? How long after a DUI can you get a CDL in Ohio? It is possible that their CDL could get suspended too.

Can You Get a CDL with an OVI on Your Record?

Obtaining a CDL with an OVI on your record is a significant challenge, but it’s not impossible. The impact of an OVI conviction on your ability to secure a CDL depends on several factors, including the severity of the offense.

What disqualifies you from CDL in Ohio? An OVI conviction leads to automatic and mandatory repercussions that affect CDL eligibility. Can you get a CDL with a OVI in Ohio? It depends. A first-time OVI offense results in a one-year suspension of any driver’s license, including a prohibition on obtaining a CDL during this period. A second OVI offense escalates to a lifetime disqualification from holding a CDL, which might be reduced to a 10-year disqualification under certain rehabilitative circumstances.

Once the suspension lifts, applicants must undergo a thorough rehabilitation process. This process typically requires:

  • Completing any mandated treatment programs
  • Paying necessary reinstatement fees
  • Successfully passing both the knowledge and driving skills tests again

How long do you have to wait to get a CDL after a DUI/OVI? Even after fulfilling all legal and administrative requirements for reinstatement, the BMV retains the discretion to deny a CDL based on the applicant’s overall driving history and the specifics of the OVI incident.

Demonstrating a commitment to safe driving and completing any required rehabilitation are crucial steps in overcoming the barriers an OVI may place on one’s driving and professional prospects.

There is an additional consideration, though. Even if you succeed in acquiring a CDL, potential employers will still have the ability to view your driving record. Just because you have a CDL, that does not mean you’ll be able to get a job as a commercial driver.

Penalties and Processes for Ohio CDL Holders Charged with OVI/DUI

Can You Get a CDL with a DUI on Your Record Image 2 In Ohio, the consequences for current CDL holders charged with OVI are severe and proceed through specialized administrative processes.

Administrative Suspension

What is the DUI limit for CDL in Ohio? Upon being charged with an OVI/DUI, an immediate administrative license suspension (ALS) is initiated if a CDL holder tests over the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04% when operating a commercial vehicle or refuses to undergo a BAC test. This suspension is independent of criminal proceedings and can last from one year to a permanent revocation, depending on the number of previous offenses.

ALS Appeals Process

During an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing in Ohio, several outcomes are possible, depending on the evidence presented and the specifics of the case:

  • Reinstatement of License: If the judge finds that the officer lacked probable cause or that there was an issue with the BAC test procedure, they may overturn the suspension and reinstate the CDL immediately.
  • Upholding the Suspension: The judge will likely uphold the suspension if the evidence supports the officer’s actions and the BAC test results. This outcome means the CDL holder will continue to face the suspension as initially determined.
  • Modification of Suspension: Occasionally, the judge might modify the terms of the suspension based on mitigating factors or discrepancies noted during the hearing, potentially reducing the length of the suspension.


What happens if a truck driver gets a OVI? How long do you have to wait to get a CDL after a OVI? After a suspension period, to reinstate a CDL, eligible drivers must meet several requirements, including:

  • Retaking and passing the CDL knowledge and skills tests
  • Submitting proof of financial responsibility (SR-22 Insurance)
  • Possibly attending treatment programs

How Our Cincinnati OVI/DUI Lawyers Can Help

At Moermond & Mulligan, LLC, our experienced DUI lawyers are well-versed in supporting both prospective and current CDL holders through the complexities of qualifying for or reinstating a CDL after an OVI/DUI charge.

We’ll guide you through administrative hearings, criminal proceedings, and fulfilling reinstatement requirements tailored to your unique case. Our team is dedicated to advocating for your professional driving rights and helping you begin or resume your career. For personalized assistance and to learn more about how our law firm can help, contact Moermond & Mulligan, LLC online or by calling (513) 421-9790 today. Our Cincinnati criminal defense lawyers can get you the best possible outcome for your case.

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