What Happens If You Get a DUI While Driving a Company Vehicle?

Written by James Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

Getting a DUI is stressful no matter the situation. Stress is compounded if the DUI is issued when driving a company car. Consequences of a conviction for DUI while driving a company vehicle vary by employer policy. Legally, consequences are different depending on if you have a CDL license or a personal driver's license. Another variable is the applicable state law.

Legal DUI Penalties

Regardless of what vehicle you are driving, you will suffer the penalties according to city or state law. You may lose your license for thirty days on a first conviction. Depending on your number of convictions, you may lose your license for six months, a year or forever. Jail sentences also increase with the number of convictions.

Employer DUI Guidelines Regarding Personal Driver's License

Employers have the right to determine the consequences for getting a DUI while driving one of their vehicles. Usually company policy regarding a DUI conviction is part of the employment agreement or employee handbook. Most employees must sign an acknowledgement stating they have received, read and agreed to abide by company guidelines.

An example of one employer's DUI standards suspends an employee's right to drive a company vehicle for ninety days on a first conviction. After a second DUI conviction the employee's right to drive a company vehicle is permanently suspended.

If driving is a major portion of the employee's responsibilities, the employer can find an alternative position or terminate the employee. If no position is available that does not require driving a company car, the employee will likely be terminated.

DUI and CDL License

A CDL is a commercial driver's license regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Earning a CDL license requires completing an approved training program and passing a skills and knowledge test. A CDL license typically applies to drivers of commercial vehicles such as semis, tow trucks or buses.

If someone is convicted of a DUI with a CDL license, federal guidelines state the driver will lose his or her CDL license for a minimum of one year. A second conviction causes the driver to lose their CDL for the rest of their life.

Clearly, losing a CDL license impacts how a driver will earn a living for the rest of their lives. If they do not have a CDL license, legally, they cannot drive a commercial vehicle.

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