As a Montgomery County PA DUI Lawyer, I have been resolving DUI cases by way of ARD admission for almost 20 years. The ARD program (Accelerated Rehabilitation Program) has been a godsend for clients through out Pennsylvania. In essence, the program allows first time offenders, most often for DUI, to earn a dismissal and an expungement through the completion of non reporting probation, as well as other easy to fulfill requirements as each case warrants. But is ARD, when we talk about it in the DUI setting, always the right course to take? My answer is “no”.
Commercial Driver’s Licenses are granted to qualified drivers that drive for a living. In an ARD case for DUI, a defendant’s driver’s license can be suspended for up to 90 days but a Commercial Drivers License is treated differently. Any DUI lawyer must be cognizant that a person who has a Commercial Drivers License will still have that license suspended for a full one (1) year even when they receive the break on their regular operators license. Considering this, it is my belief that sometimes the facts surrounding a case may merit the defense attorney forego ARD altogether and take a shot at either beating the case or resolving it by way of a non-DUI plea bargain if possible so they can save the client’s CDL. To most, a CDL is how they make their living.
Bottom Line: When you get a DUI, consult a PA DUI lawyer that knows what he or she is doing. The CDL snafu illustrated above is just one of the pitfalls that can await the uncounseled person when confronting the DUI charge. Representing oneself during a DUI case, as the above information illustrates, can be reckless and just stupid. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Stay safe.