What if You Have an Arizona CDL but Received a DUI in Another State?
If you hold an Arizona Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and face a DUI charge in another state, it’s essential to understand the potential impact on your driving privileges and livelihood.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of out-of-state DUIs for Arizona CDL holders and how a criminal defense lawyer from The Shah Law Firm can help you navigate the legal process.
Arizona has strict laws governing DUI offenses for CDL holders, and an out-of-state DUI can have severe consequences on your CDL status, employment, and more.
A 2018 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study states that repeat DUI offenders account for nearly one-third of all DUI arrests. With such a significant number of repeat offenses, knowing your rights and options is crucial when facing a DUI charge.
In this article, we’ll discuss the following:
- Arizona Revised Statutes and CDL DUI Regulations
- How Out-of-State DUI Convictions Affect Your Arizona CDL
- Interstate Driver’s License Compact and Reporting of DUI Convictions
- Consequences for Commercial Driving Privileges
- Defending Your Rights After an Out-of-State DUI Arrest
- Seeking Legal Representation for Out-of-State DUI Cases
Arizona Revised Statutes and CDL DUI Regulations
Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) §28-1381 outlines the penalties for CDL holders convicted of a DUI in Arizona.
These penalties include a one-year disqualification of your CDL for a first offense and a lifetime disqualification for a second offense.
However, if you receive a DUI in another state, the consequences might differ depending on the specific circumstances and applicable laws.
Applicability of Arizona Revised Statute §28-1381 to Out-of-State DUIs
ARS §28-1381 defines DUI offenses in Arizona and sets the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit at 0.08% for non-commercial drivers and 0.04% for CDL holders.
Although this statute primarily applies to DUIs within Arizona, it’s essential to understand the BAC limits and how they can influence the outcome of your out-of-state DUI case.
How Out-of-State DUI Convictions Affect Your Arizona CDL
License Suspension and Revocation Periods
If you’re an Arizona CDL holder convicted of a DUI in another state, your CDL could be suspended or revoked based on the state’s penalties.
Once notified of the conviction, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) will enforce the applicable suspension or revocation period as dictated by the other state’s laws.
Increased Penalties for Subsequent Offenses
Being charged with a DUI in another state will be considered a prior offense if you’re charged with a subsequent DUI in Arizona.
This can lead to increased penalties, such as longer license suspension periods, increased fines, and mandatory jail time, depending on the specifics of your case and criminal record.
Interstate Driver’s License Compact and Reporting of DUI Convictions
The Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC) is an agreement among participating states to share information about license suspensions and traffic violations, including DUI convictions.
If you’re convicted of a DUI in another state, that state will report the conviction to Arizona through the IDLC, potentially leading to consequences for your CDL.
DUI laws vary from state to state, and the penalties for an out-of-state DUI may differ from those in Arizona.
However, because of the IDLC, your Arizona CDL can still be affected by a DUI conviction in another state.
The severity of the impact on your CDL will depend on the specific penalties imposed by the state where the offense occurred.
Consequences for Commercial Driving Privileges
Employment Implications for CDL Holders with a DUI Conviction
A DUI can significantly impact your ability to maintain or find employment as a commercial vehicle driver.
Many employers have strict policies regarding DUI convictions, and some may terminate your employment or refuse to hire you because of your criminal record.
Furthermore, certain types of commercial driving, such as those involving hazardous materials, may be off-limits to drivers with a DUI conviction.
Potential Insurance Rate Increases
In addition to employment concerns, a DUI conviction can increase insurance premiums.
Commercial drivers are often required to maintain a certain level of insurance coverage.
Insurance companies may view drivers with DUI convictions as high-risk, resulting in higher rates or even denial of coverage.
Defending Your Rights After an Out-of-State DUI Arrest
Facing a DUI charge in another state can be a daunting experience, but it’s important to remember that you have rights and options.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you challenge the DUI charge, potentially leading to reduced penalties or even dismissal of the case. This can be crucial in protecting your CDL and your livelihood.
Possible Defense Strategies for Out-of-State DUI Cases:
- Challenging the legality of the traffic stop:
- Scenario: Your attorney may argue that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to pull you over, such as not having a valid reason for the stop (e.g., no traffic violation or equipment malfunction).
- Questioning the accuracy of BAC testing methods:
- Scenario: Your lawyer could challenge the accuracy of the breathalyzer or blood test results by demonstrating that the testing device was improperly calibrated or maintained or that the testing officer lacked proper training.
- Presenting evidence that supports your innocence:
- Scenario: Your attorney may present evidence, such as witness testimony or surveillance footage, that contradicts the arresting officer’s account of events, potentially casting doubt on the validity of the charges against you.
An experienced DUI defense attorney will be able to assess your case and determine the most effective defense strategy for your unique situation.
The Impact of a DUI Conviction on Obtaining a CDL in Arizona
Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) §28-3319 mandates that individuals with a DUI conviction will face a one-year suspension of their CDL for a first offense and a lifetime disqualification for a second offense.
However, the specific circumstances of your DUI and the time that has elapsed since the conviction will significantly determine your eligibility for a CDL.
If your DUI is relatively recent or a particularly severe offense (e.g., aggravated DUI), you may face more difficulty obtaining a CDL.
However, if a considerable amount of time has passed since your DUI and you have demonstrated responsible behavior and completed any required rehabilitation programs, your chances of being granted a CDL may improve.
It’s essential to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney, such as those at The Shah Law Firm, to discuss your unique situation and the potential impact of a DUI on your ability to obtain a CDL in Arizona.
Seeking Legal Representation for Out-of-State DUI Cases
Given the complexities of DUI laws and the potential consequences for your CDL, having an experienced DUI defense attorney on your side is essential.
An attorney who specializes in DUI cases will have a deep understanding of the relevant laws and can provide invaluable guidance and representation throughout the legal process.
At The Shah Law Firm, our team of experienced criminal defense lawyers specializes in defending clients against DUI charges in Arizona and out-of-state.
We understand the importance of protecting your CDL and will work tirelessly to develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your circumstances.
By enlisting the help of our skilled attorneys, you can increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome and safeguarding your commercial driving privileges.
An Experienced Attorney is Essential When Faced With A DUI
If you’re an Arizona CDL holder who has received a DUI in another state, it’s crucial to understand the potential impact on your driving privileges and livelihood.
By familiarizing yourself with the relevant Arizona Revised Statutes, the IDLC, and the potential consequences, you’ll be better prepared to navigate the legal process.
Additionally, seeking the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer from The Shah Law Firm can help you protect your CDL and secure the best possible outcome for your case.