Trucker Arrested 3 Times for DUI Sues to Get His CDL Back, Court Says No
Boise, ID – The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed a decision this week by a Coeur d’Alene Judge to suspend an Idaho trucker’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) for life.
The decision upheld by the Supreme Court was a part of an appeal by Bruce Edwards, of Athol, who sued the Idaho Department of Transportation (IDOT) after being arrested several times for driving under the influence.
Edwards obtained his CDL on March 7, 2011, court records show.
On April 25, 2012, Edwards was arrested in Boundary County, ID for driving with a breath alcohol content of .085.
Court records do not specify if Edwards was in a personal vehicle or semi-truck at the time of his arrest.
Nonetheless, his CDL was suspended for one year, from May 25, 2012 to May 25, 2013.
The suspension did not affect his non-commercial driving privileges.
During the year in which his CDL was suspended, Edwards was arrested on January 27, 2013 on a second DUI while in Kootenai County.
Authorities said his blood alcohol content at the time of his arrest was 0.125.
After Edwards pleaded guilty to his second DUI, he received notification from IDOT in February 2013, stating its intention to disqualify Edwards’ “privilege to operate a commercial vehicle” for his lifetime.
Edwards challenged IDOT’s intent to suspend his CDL indefinitely, and won in district court in March 2015.
However, Edwards was arrested yet a third time on DUI charges on June 7, 2013 in Bonner County — while he was in the process of contesting his license suspensions.
During his third arrest, Edwards refused to be tested to determine his breath alcohol content.
Court document state that approximately a year and a half after Edwards’ third arrest, IDOT once again notified Edwards by letter that it intended to impose a mandatory lifetime disqualification of his commercial driving privileges, which was to take effect on August 17, 2015.
Edwards argued on appeal that since he didn’t have a CDL when the second and third DUI arrests had taken place (it was suspended for 12 months as a result of his first DUI), he could not be subject to the lifetime disqualification.
The sanctions, he argued, only applied to a holder of a CDL.
The decision by IDOT was upheld by First District Court Judge Cynthia K.C. Meyer, and Edwards ultimately appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court affirmed Meyer’s decision, stating that Edwards remained a CDL holder when his commercial driving privileges were disqualified between 2012-2013, thus Edwards was subject to a subsequent lifetime disqualification.
Additionally, the Supreme Court held that Edwards’ refusal to submit a breath alcohol test upon his third arrest was sufficient evidence by IDOT to disqualify Edwards’ commercial driving privileges.