Professional License: Commercial Drivers (CDL)

Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Professional Reporting Requirements

Many professions require licensed individuals in that profession to report to a licensing division or authority when the person is charged with a criminal offense, particularly DUI and other alcohol-related crimes, violent crimes (such as assault or domestic violence), drug crimes (such as controlled substance possession), or property crimes (such as theft and criminal mischief). Most commercial drivers and truckers are required to undergo regular drug testing, but we are addressing the instances when law enforcement are involved. CDL operators who are found in violation of their regulations, which includes a drug and alcohol prohibition, are placed in an “out of service” status. Here are the DUI or alcohol arrest reporting requirements for commercial drivers, as defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

Section 392.5.3d-e: Alcohol Prohibition

(d) Any driver who is issued an out-of-service order under this section shall:

  • (1) Report such issuance to his/her employer within 24 hours; and
  • (2) Report such issuance to a State official, designated by the State which issued his/her driver’s license, within 30 days unless the driver chooses to request a review of the order. In this case, the driver shall report the order to the State official within 30 days of an affirmation of the order by either the Division Administrator or State Director for the geographical area or the Administrator.

(e) Any driver who is subject to an out-of-service order under this section may petition for review of that order by submitting a petition for review in writing within 10 days of the issuance of the order to the Division Administrator or State Director for the geographical area in which the order was issued. The Division Administrator or State Director may affirm or reverse the order. Any driver adversely affected by such order of the Regional Director of Motor Carriers may petition the Administrator for review in accordance with 49 CFR 386.13.


Different rules apply to a driver’s personal admission of alcohol and substance abuse. Read about these guidelines in Section 382.121.

Let's get started crafting your defense!

We have a fully staffed knowledgeable, experienced legal team ready to help you. Schedule your consultation today!