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Commercial Drivers License and DUI in Tennessee

In Tennessee, bus drivers, truck drivers and other driving professionals are held to a higher standard than non-commercial drivers when it comes to driving under the influence as established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A BAC of 0.04% or more constitutes driving under the influence for an individual holding a commercial driver’s license. This is below the normal BAC of 0.08% for all other motorists. Further, failure to submit to a chemical test as required by the state’s laws regarding CDL’s also constitutes as grounds for a DUI arrest. Upon conviction of your first commercial driver’s license (CDL) DUI offense, your CDL will be suspended for one year. If you are convicted of a DUI a second time, you will lose your CDL for life. Also, if you were carrying hazardous materials at the time of your DUI, your CDL will be suspended for three years. A second offense while carrying hazardous materials will result in your CDL being suspended for life, and you will never be able to operate a commercial vehicle again. However, commercial drivers should not have any detectible amount of alcohol in their system and if you are pulled over with a BAC of less than 0.04%, you will be issued an “out-of-service” notice and will be unable to drive for the next twenty-four hours.

Lastly, if convicted of a CDL DUI, you may be eligible for a restricted drivers license in Tennessee only if the DUI offense was committed in a non-commercial vehicle and the conviction of the offense allows for a restricted Class D driver’s license.


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