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Commercial drivers lose privilege with DUI conviction

One New Jersey driver slipped through a loophole and managed to keep his commercial license after his fourth arrest for drunk driving. According to the USA Today's Daily Record, although the defendant had two previous convictions, both had happened ten or more years before he applied for a commercial license. The law requires courts to count DUI (or DWI) convictions that follow attainment of the license, so his commercial driving privileges had not seemed to be at stake.

According to the Daily Record, however, his luck may have changed. The driver has a new case pending in a New Jersey courtroom. The Record reports on January 8, 2018, he rammed a snowplow into several cars and then tested for nine times the legal limit of alcohol in his system. This follows a December case of road rage in which police arrested the intoxicated defendant for DUI and other charges.

If the driver is convicted in both, the two new cases could be enough to revoke his commercial driver's license permanently. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission makes it clear a first conviction for DUI results in a one-year commercial license suspension, in addition to the revocation of personal driving privileges for three to 12 months. A second conviction doubles the personal revocation to two years and permanently rescinds the right to drive commercially. 

The MVC emphasizes safety as a priority on New Jersey highways and aims for uniformity in standards and testing. Keeping commercial drivers in check is one aspect of a program designed to protect motorists in both passenger and commercial vehicles. 


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