DWI with a CDL? Know Your Rights.
A driver’s license is an essential item in the lives of most adults. For people who hold a commercial driver’s license, this is even truer. If you’re charged with a DWI as a CDL holder, you need to move quickly to ensure that you don’t lose it.
What Does a DWI Mean for Your CDL?
If you are charged with either a DWI or a DUI, the arresting officer will take your license at the time of your arrest and provide you with a paper license to use in the interim. This paper license can only be used to drive a personal vehicle, not a commercial one, which means that even being charged with a DWI can cause serious issues for your job. Not only that, but when you attend the MVA hearing to discuss the status of your license, you have the option of applying for a restricted license. If you choose this option, you will still not be able to drive commercial vehicles. The same goes for the Ignition Interlock Program. If you opt into it, you will not be able to operate commercial vehicles.
Will You Lose Your Job?
That is probably the most pressing question on your mind. The answer depends entirely on whether or not you are able to keep your CDL. Though there are several ways to continue driving a personal vehicle with pending DWI charges, this is not the case for a CDL. You either have a full-fledged CDL, or you have nothing. There is no in-between. If you are convicted of a DWI, you will lose your CDL, and in turn, your job.
What Is the Legal Limit for Commercial Vehicles?
The standards are much higher for people who have commercial drivers licenses and for good reason. Commercial vehicles are often far more difficult to operate safely and accidents involving them tend to leave those involved in dire straits. Thus, you are not allowed to have any amount of alcohol in your system when operating a commercial vehicle. The official number is a .04 BAC for the chemical test, so if you test above that number, you will be charged. It should be noted, however that you will likely face charges if you were pulled over for any suspicious behavior considering that alcohol is not the only way to be charged with a DWI and other substances might not register on the breathalyzer test.
What Should You Do Now?
Contact Albers & Associates to schedule a free consultation. We can help build your defense so that you have the best chance of keeping your CDL and your job. You’ll be working with some of the top legal counsel in the state on DWI and DUI related matters, so don’t worry, your case is in expert hands.
Will I Lose My License?
You might. Depending on the type of license you have and whether or not you are convicted, your license may be suspended or even revoked depending on the circumstances of your charges. However, even being charged with a DUI can result in the suspension of your license, which can affect your life substantially.
Will I Lose My Job?
It depends on your job. At the time of your arrest, the police officer will confiscate your license and provide you with a paper license that you can use until your MVA Hearing. However, for people who hold commercial driver’s licenses, also known as CDLs, this will not replace the license you need to do your job. So, until the charges are cleared, you will not be able to work. Getting on the phone with a lawyer as soon as humanly possible is essential for your continued employment.
Am I Going to Jail?
You might. If you are found guilty of a DUI, particularly if this is your second or third offense, you may face jail time. One possible outcome of DUI court proceedings, a Probation Before Judgment, can be sought. If you are able to secure a PBJ, you will be able to avoid going to jail.