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Ohio CDL disqualifications with an OVI

Driving a commercial vehicle can be a fruitful way to make a living. However, you take on a certain degree of responsibility when you have a large number of passengers or precious cargo on board. A clean driving record keeps you employed.

If you have a commercial driver’s license in the state of Ohio, an OVI conviction can be a devastating blow to an otherwise successful career. It is important to understand the potential consequences if these charges make it onto your record.

BAC Level

In most states, including Ohio, a blood alcohol content of 0.08% is enough to warrant an OVI charge. However, if someone pulls you over and asks you to take a breath test, you can face serious punishment if you exceed 0.04%. If you are driving your commercial vehicle at the time, the BMV may revoke your driving privileges for at least a year.

A second similar offense initiates a lifetime disqualification. This means you will no longer be able to operate a commercial vehicle.


Should a court convict you of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, whether it is your own personal vehicle or a commercial one, the BMV will adhere to similar terms of suspension. The first offense will be at least one year; the second may be for life.

This is why it is very important to consider the circumstances of your arrest and trial. If you suspect that the officer made a mistake or treated you unlawfully, you should attempt to fight the charges. Otherwise, you may lose your CDL and, by extension, your job.

Test Refusal

There may be situations where you want to refuse to take an intoxication text when asked. In Ohio, outright refusal is an immediate one-year disqualification of your CDL for the first offense and lifetime for the second. If you believe the officer has no grounds to ask you, you may be able to seek retribution if the outcome proves unfavorable.

Keep these strict consequences in mind the next time someone asks you to pull over. As a commercial driver, an OVI charge or conviction can impact your entire livelihood.

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