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Commercial Drivers License and DUI in D.C.

Washington D.C. has adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules for disqualification of a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The FMCSA rules for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol (DUI) apply to drivers with a Commercial Driver’s License while driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Drug and alcohol testing is performed, depending on the circumstance, by the police officers or a commercial driver’s employer. Random testing is required by the FMCSA to be carried out by drivers’ employers. The state or local police may test a driver on suspicion of driving under the influence or following an accident.

It is a crime for commercial vehicle operators to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.04% or above. If the driver holding a commercial driver’s license and was driving a commercial vehicle, he/she will be barred from driving a commercial vehicle for a year if the driver is convicted with a blood alcohol content of 0.04% or more. At the time of the arrest, the arresting officer will also issue the driver an out-of-service order valid for 24 hours. In addition, the driver of a commercial vehicle may also be penalized as he/she would if he/she was driving a non-commercial vehicle. For a second violation, the suspension period ranges from 10 years to life. Third-time offenders will lose their commercial license for life.


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