For private drivers, a DUI conviction could mean rehabilitation programs, suspensions, jail time, fines and other sanctions, depending on criminal history, the severity of the offense and so on. People with commercial driving licenses have much more to lose from DUI convictions.
In many situations, infractions involving private vehicles could carry over to career repercussions. That is because there is a strict set of laws governing privileges to a commercial license.
A tracking problem
USA Today reported on an incident with an intoxicated bus driver from 2018. The driver swerved, ran red lights and generally terrified an entire bus full of high school students.
The article estimates that similar incidents have endangered over 1,600 kids over the past five years. Further, the problem might not be receiving the attention it deserves.
An independent investigation uncovered that only about 11 percent of the 268 government agencies across the country could come up with data specific to school busses — most did not record the occupations of the CDL holders.
Why are the laws so strict?
The laws governing your school bus driving license are strict because you are carrying some of the most precious cargo possible. Even if you are the most conscientious person on the job, the priority of the law is to protect the people.
Commercial vehicle accidents are typically deadlier than those between passenger vehicles. Therefore, the law would hold you to a higher standard than it would someone without a CDL.
Many bus drivers lose their careers due to a mismanaged DUI defense. It is important to understand both your legal and professional risks before you sign anything or make any statements.