Washington State, DUI & Commercial Driver’s License

By Garth O'Brien | November 10, 2007 
Filed Under DUI

Very few Washington State citizens realize the Uniform Commercial Driver’s License Act (Chapter 46.25 RCW) enacted stricter standards for CDL holders in July of 2006. The grounds for the CDL disqualification were increased in RCW 46.25.090.

RCW 46.25.090(1)(a) states:

(1) A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than one year if a report has been received by the department pursuant to RCW 46.20.308 or 46.25.120, or if the person has been convicted of a first violation, within this or any other jurisdiction, of: (a) Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any drug;

This new language now requires a suspension of the CDL privilege even when an individual is convicted of DUI while operating their personal vehicle, for unrelated work driving. If you hold a CDL endorsement and drive your personal vehicle to the movies on a weekend under the influence of intoxicants or drugs, your CDL endorsement will be suspended for at least one year. This is triggered either by a criminal conviction for DUI or losing the DOL administrative hearing that occurs with a DUI arrest.

The Department of Licensing upon receiving notice of a second violation will disqualify and revoke your CDL endorsement for life. Prior this new amendment, holders of a CDL endorsement did not lose their CDL privilege automatically while operating their personal vehicle, for non-work related driving, while under the influence. Their privilege to drive may have been suspended or revoked for some period of time, but the CDL endorsement was not stripped away. This new provision received little media attention. Many attorneys do not even realize how strict the State of Washington has become with the new law.

If you have a CDL endorsement it would be wise to consume no alcohol before driving any motor vehicle.

DUI Blog Comments

Comments are closed.