If you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and if you are charged with an OVI offense in the State of Ohio, you will not be allowed to operate a commercial vehicle during the course of the suspension. Most OVI offenders are granted limited driving privileges to drive to and from work after they have been charged with the offense. An individual who holds a Commercial Driver’s License, however, is not eligible for these privileges. Section 4506.161 of the Ohio Revised Code provides that “no Court shall issue an order granting limited driving privileges for operation of a commercial vehicle to any person whose Driver’s License or Commercial Driver’s License has been suspended or who has been disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle.” Therefore, even though the holder of a CDL may be eligible for privileges to drive to and from work, he cannot operate a commercial vehicle as part of these driving privileges.
In addition, if you are ultimately convicted of the OVI offense, you will be disqualified from holding a CDL. The Ohio Revised Code provides that anyone convicted of an OVI offense shall be disqualified from having a Commercial Driver’s License for one (1) year. ORC § 4506.16(D)(1). The intent of this law is clear. Individuals who have a CDL are held to a higher standard where drinking and driving will not be tolerated.