If you own a commercial driver’s license, then you likely rely on this license for work. Getting charged with a CDL DWI in Essex, MD can have serious implications for your career and the future of your career. Now, you may think that a DWI may not have the same level of impact as a DUI, but this is not necessarily the case. Let’s take a look at how a DWI can affect your commercial driver’s license and your job.
What is a DWI?
When you drive under the influence of alcohol or any other substance, you run the risk of losing your driver’s license. When you hold a commercial driver’s license, the standards and stakes are much higher. It is strictly against the law for any person to operate a commercial vehicle while intoxicated. If your breathalyzer test comes back with .04 or higher, then you will likely be charged. The legal limit for non-commercial licenses is .08, to give you a sense of how much more strict the CDL regulations are. Now, you can be charged with a DWI if you’re under the legal limit, but you still exhibit signs of being intoxicated.
What Happens When You are Charged with a DWI?
Obviously, you will lose your CDL following a DUI/DWI conviction, but what you might not know is that you can actually lose your CDL before you’re convicted. When you are charged, the arresting officer will take your license and provide you with a temporary, paper license. This paper license, though it can be used to operate a normal vehicle, cannot act in place of a CDL. When you attend your MVA hearing, you may be able to obtain access to a restricted license or to join the Ignition Interlock Program. Though this may be good news for your non-commercial driving activities, neither will help you with your CDL.
What About the Probation Before Judgment?
For the average driver, a Probation Before Judgement, commonly referred to as a PBJ might make for an attractive option when dealing with DUI/DWI charges. However, for CDL holders, this is not the case. The MVA will still consider a PBJ grounds to disqualify your CDL for a mandatory minimum of 1 year. The only real option for CDL holders is to avoid conviction altogether.
What Do You Do Now?
Don’t lose hope. If you’ve been charged with CDL DWI in Essex, Maryland then you have options. Contact the Law Office of Ross W. Albers to learn more about the next steps that you need to take to protect your career and your CDL.