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By Brian Patrick Bronson, Esq.

Many of our clients rely on driving, not only as a privilege, but for their livelihood. Most individuals whose occupation is driving must have obtained a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). If you have a CDL, you must be aware of how a drunk driving conviction impacts this license.

If you have a CDL and are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Pennsylvania, even on a first offense, you will lose your CDL for one year. Currently, there are no special occupational limited licenses — known as “bread-and-butter” licenses — that allow you to operate under a CDL during a suspension.

Even though first-time offenders may qualify for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, which typically reduces punishment, the consequences to a CDL holder are still enforced. The CDL is suspended for one year. The current law treats admission to the ARD program as the equivalent of a criminal conviction for purposes of license suspensions, even if the offense was not committed in a commercial vehicle.

The moral is: don’t jeopardize your livelihood and the safety of others.