• Defending CDL Tickets: Unraveling the Complexity

    Defending CDL Tickets: Unraveling the Complexity

    For truck drivers or Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders, tickets can be more than just a minor inconvenience; they can significantly impact driving records and livelihoods. We will explore the complexities of CDL tickets, common…

Washington CDL offenses

Driving a commercial vehicle is treated differently than driving a personal car, so Washington CDL-holders are held to a much stricter standard than normal drivers when it comes to driving offenses. Federal regulations impose constraints on Washington state law, and require severe penalties of Washington CDL offenses. For example, your commercial drivers license can be suspended or revoked even for offenses occurring while in a personal vehicle. If you have a commercial drivers license it is important to contact the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer to discuss your individual situation immediately.


A driver faces mandatory Washington CDL disqualification for certain offenses committed while driving a commercial motor vehicle.  See RCW 46.25.090.The period of disqualification can range anywhere from 30 days all the way up to a lifetime disqualification depending on the nature and number of offenses.

Drivers can challenge a proposed suspension by requesting an administrative hearing, and if necessary, can appeal to the Superior Court. Generally, your driving privileges remain intact until there is a final decision.

Drivers can also be subject to disqualification proceedings if they either refuse to comply with mandatory drug/alcohol testing, or fail a urinalysis test.The legal limit while driving a commercial vehicle is .04, not .08.


If you have a Washington CDL and are arrested for DUI in your personal vehicle, it can impact your commercial driving privileges.

If the Dept. of Licensing suspends your license administratively, or you are convicted of DUI, the CDL will be disqualified for one year on a first offense.  The second offense results in a lifetime disqualification.

Administrative Suspension or Criminal Conviction


CDL Suspension

  BAC above .08 or
Refusal of BAC

1st DUI

1 Year

2nd DUI


At this time, a conviction for being in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence does not have the same impact on CDLs and will not result in a suspension of your CDL (but it will suspend your regular license). However, an administrative suspension from a physical control arrest would result in disqualification.

Even worse news is that there is no occupational or ignition interlock license for purposes of commercial driving. The disqualification is complete and will require re-application and testing at the conclusion in order to regain commercial driving privileges.

The bottom line is that if you are a CDL-holder, it is very important that you contest all actions that could result in CDL disqualification, and carefully consider any CDL implications before entering into any plea agreements. Every case is different, so please contact us immediately to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.

CDL defense lawyer in Washington

The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer will fight to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome in your court case. Call attorney Erin Bradley McAleer today at (360) 334-6277 to schedule an immediate confidential free consultation to protect your commercial driving privileges in Washington State.

Washington Attorney Erin Bradley McAleer represents clients throughout Southwest Washington State, including in Clark County, Cowlitz County, and Skamania County and Vancouver, Battle Ground, Camas, La Center, Ridgefield, Washougal, Woodland, Yacolt, Castle Rock, Kalama, Kelso, Longview, North Bonneville, and Stevenson. Attorney Erin Bradley McAleer focuses on the areas of Criminal Defense, Traffic Infractions, Landlord Tenant, Personal Injury, Firearm Rights Restoration, and Post-Conviction Relief (Vacating & Sealing Criminal Records).