Trucking With a DUI/DWI
Finding a truck driving job with a DWI/DUI is not easy, but many drivers can attest to the fact that it can be done.
In general, most truck drivers can find a trucking job with a DWI and/or DUI on their record. However, many hiring companies often require that these are not recent violations (within the last 5 years or more) and there may often be only one count of DWI/DUI within the prescribed time frame.
It is true that some, though certainly not all, companies will not hire a driver with any counts of either a DWI or DUI on their driving record. This is not typical of trucking companies, though some larger names in the transportation industry may employ this.
Overall, drivers with DWI or DUI penalties find work – it may just take some time. Depending on one’s state, certain restrictions will apply to your ability to find work.
What Constitutes a DUI/DWI
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration established the blood alcohol concentration for CDL drivers at or above 0.04%. This is half of the established BAC for non-commercial motorists in most states. Those who have CDL are considered to have implied consent to alcohol testing in any state that requires such testing.
In the case of being convicted of driving while intoxicated, circumstances truly depend on the state and discretion of enforcement in said state. Some states will revoke a Driver’s Class A and Class C license for a period of time, others will see a fine in addition to license suspension.
If a driver is convicted of a traffic violation (in this case, a DUI/DWI) they must notify their employer within 30 days of said conviction.
All in all, it’s not an easy process to come out of after having a DUI/DWI. Though every state will have differing levels of penalties, it’s safe to say there is no state in which a driver will come out of a DWI/DUI conviction unscathed.
What To With a DUI/DWI on Your Record
Some sources recommend that drivers who have a DWI/DUI on their record prior to receiving a CDL should look into a company-sponsored driver’s training program to get their foot in the door. Some companies will hire these individuals out of their training program despite their record because the convictions were received prior to having a CDL.
Another option for drivers is to seek employment with smaller, family-owned trucking companies. In doing so, truck drivers may be able to speak to a recruiter and understand their hiring process – some companies may even make an exception for some individuals.
Most importantly, and perhaps most obviously, is for drivers to stay out of situations that may involve another DUI/DWI conviction. This may mean abstaining from drinking/using controlled substances entirely when any driving is planned or using a designated driver.
Tips To Avoid a DUI/DWI
Designate a dependable and reliable driver to be in control of the vehicle if you are not able to operate it. There’s little sense to ingesting anything that may impair one’s driving with the intent to drive soon after– one shouldn’t risk their life or the lives of others.
Truck drivers should talk to a professional if they feel they have an alcohol or substance abuse problem that interferes with their trucking career. Medical and professional help may greatly aid a driver in making the right decisions on the road or preventing any future accidents.
Some drivers feel the compulsion to drink anything while on the road, which inevitable leads to the consumption of alcohol. In this instance, drivers can ensure to bring along liquids that won't impair their drivign such as water, soft drinks, coffee or tea.
Drivers should also realize the weight that a DUI/DWI carries on their current position should they be convicted while holding a position at a driving company. Many trucking companies will suspend a driver for a charge after investigating the case, other companies will release of driver from employment who has been convicted of a DWI/DUI.
Very few companies will deny a potential driver outright due to one instance of a DUI/DWI on their record. It is, of course, easier for drivers to find a job if they avoid both DUIs/DWIs entirely. To learn if you are eligible for a job due to your record, drivers should contact recruiters of a company and speak to them about their policies. Drivers are also encouraged to contact their state level DMV to see the policies of CDL drivers with DUI/DWI convictions.