Operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a BAC of .04% or higher is prosecuted as “Excess BAC CDL” – also called “commercial DUI.” A first-time commercial DUI triggers a 1-year CDL revocation. A second offense triggers a lifetime CDL ban.
Here are three key things to know:
- It may be possible to reinstate your CDL 10 years into a lifetime ban if you complete a drug or alcohol program.
- If your CDL gets revoked, you may be able to continue driving on your regular driver’s license depending on the case.
- Commercial drivers are held to a stricter standard than regular drivers, who face DUI per se charges for driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
To help you better understand the laws regarding Colorado Excess BAC CDL, our Denver Colorado criminal defense lawyers discuss the following, below:
- 1. What offenses lead to revocation of my Colorado commercial driver’s license?
- 2. How long will my license be suspended?
- 3. Can I still drive a non-commercial vehicle?
- 4. Can my commercial license be reinstated?
- 5. What is Colorado’s Excess BAC underage CDL law?
- 6. Can I lose my CDL for non-DUI crimes?
- 7. Call us for help…
Offenses leading to the revocation of your Colorado CDL include (but are not limited to):
- DUI per se
- DUI of drugs
- Excess BAC CDL (.04% or higher)
- Refusing a DUI chemical test
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Using the vehicle to commit a felony
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a CDL that was suspended or revoked due to a prior CMV violation
- Vehicular manslaughter, vehicular homicide, or negligent homicide with a CMV
- Driving without a current valid CDL1
A first offense carries a minimum revocation of your Colorado CDL for one year.
This increases to 3 years, however, if you were transporting hazardous materials at the time of the violation.2
Note that the following two crimes carry a lifetime CDL ban under federal law, even for a first offense:
- Using the vehicle in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance
- Using a CMV in the commission of a felony involving an act or practice of severe forms of trafficking in persons, as defined and described in 22 U.S.C. 7102(11)
You have just seven days from being cited for a drunk or drugged driving offense to request a CDL revocation hearing from the Colorado DMV. In addition, you may be charged with applicable criminal penalties for an underlying DUI, chemical test refusal, or other violation.
A second or subsequent DUI and/or chemical test refusal will result in the lifetime loss of your Colorado CDL. You can, however, apply for reinstatement after 10 years (see below).
If you are over 21, you may apply for a driver’s license of another class or type if you are otherwise eligible. Such license may be probationary or subject to restrictions (such as completion of an alcohol or drug treatment program or installation of an ignition interlock device).
However, you cannot be granted a probationary or restricted commercial license while your Colorado CDL is revoked or suspended.
If your Colorado CDL is revoked for life, it may nevertheless be reinstated after 10 years if you have voluntarily entered and successfully completed
- a state-approved alcohol or
- drug rehabilitation program.
However, if you subsequently commit another disqualifying offense, your CDL may not be reinstated a second time.
Colorado allows drivers under the age of 21 to hold a commercial driver’s license. Federal law does not. This means that underage Colorado drivers may drive commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) solely within the state.
Underage commercial drivers are subject to the same laws regarding commercial driver’s licenses as adult drivers. In addition, however, they are subject to Colorado’s Excess BAC underage CDL law, 42-2-126(2)(e), C.R.S.
Colorado’s Excess BAC underage CDL law is the commercial counterpart to Colorado UDD (underage drinking and driving). It is Colorado’s “zero tolerance” law for underage commercial drivers.
You violate Colorado’s Excess BAC underage CDL law when:
- you are under 21, and
- you drive a commercial motor vehicle with a BAC in excess of .02% (but less than .04%).
Consequences of Colorado Excess BAC underage CDL include revocation of your commercial driving privilege for:
- 3 months for a first violation,
- 6 months for a second violation, and
- 1 year for a third or subsequent violation.
Yes. You face a 60-day CDL suspension for picking up two of the following “serious offenses” within a 3-year period.
- Speeding 15 mph or more above the limit
- Reckless driving
- Improper lane changes
- Following too closely
- Texting while driving
- Causing a fatal accident
- Driving a CMV without a CDL
Meanwhile, picking up three of these “serious offenses” within a 3- year period triggers a 120-day CDL suspension.3
If you are a commercial driver and you are facing criminal charges or loss of your CDL we invite you to call us for a consultation. One of our caring Colorado DUI lawyers will get back to you promptly to discuss your case.
You have just 7 days from the citation to request a hearing to save your commercial license. Don’t wait for the Colorado DMV to rob you of your livelihood. Contact us today to find out why our Colorado DUI defense attorneys are among the best DUI lawyers in Colorado.
We represent commercial drivers throughout the state of Colorado. Our Denver home office is located at:
Colorado Legal Defense Group
4047 Tejon Street
Denver, CO 80211
Learn more about Colorado DUI laws.