Idaho Court: Athol trucker will lose CDL license for life

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The Idaho Supreme Court upheld a decision by a Coeur d’Alene Judge to suspend for life the commercial driver’s license of an Athol trucker.

The Supreme Court ruled in an opinion posted this week that Bruce Edwards’ driving privileges to operate a commercial motor vehicle will be permanently suspended.

The decision was part of an appeal by Edwards, who sued the Idaho Transportation Department for permanently suspending his commercial license after the department said he had too many DUIs.

First District Court Cynthia K.C. Meyer affirmed the ITD decision, and the Supreme Court followed suit this week and affirmed Meyer’s ruling.

According to court records, Edwards, who owned BA Edwards Trucking of Athol, was arrested in 2012 in Boundary County for driving under the influence of alcohol after his breath test samples indicated a blood-alcohol content of barely over 0.08. The arrest led to the suspension of his license for a year between 2012 and May 25, 2013. Edwards was arrested for a second DUI on January 27, 2013, in Kootenai County, where authorities said his blood alcohol content was 0.125. Subsequently, Edwards pleaded guilty and was sentenced for DUI.

The transportation department ordered that Edwards commercial privileges be suspended for life, but Edwards won an appeal in First District Court and his license suspension was vacated.

Edwards was arrested again for DUI, this time in Bonner County, while his case was being contested in court. He refused to be tested, and a magistrate signed an order suspending Edwards’ driving privileges, as state law calls for. A district court upheld the decision.

It is undisputed, according to court records, that Edwards did not have a commercial driver’s license during these later convictions, because he had been disqualified by ITD from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Edwards’ argued on appeal that he didn’t have a commercial driver’s license when his latter DUIs occurred because he had been stripped of the license, therefore he could not be subject to the lifetime disqualification. The sanctions only apply to a holder of a commercial driver’s license.

The Idaho Supreme Court upheld the lifetime disqualification because it did not exceed the transportation department’s statutory authority. It upheld Myer’s ruling to suspend for life Edwards’ commercial driving privileges.

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