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Extra Risks for CDL Drivers Arrested for DWI

Published By: David Shapiro Category: Criminal Law

A commercial driver’s license can provide a driver with a lot of options in the workplace. From driving large trucks to heavy machinery, a CDL is a valuable part of many people’s jobs and their livelihood.

That also means that a CDL is harder to earn and keep than a regular license. If convicted of a number of moving violations, CDL holders can risk losing their license and put their work in jeopardy. The most serious offense is driving under the influence, which holds a number of ramifications for license holders if they are charged with a DWI.

For CDL holders, the threshold for what is considered intoxicated driving is also lower. Most states follow the rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which sets blood-alcohol limits at 0.04 percent – half that of the level by which other drivers are considered to be legally intoxicated.

If convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, CDL drivers can face the following penalties:

  • Suspension or revocation of their CDL. The length of the punishment varies by state, the nature of the violation and driving record. Drivers who are convicted can apply to have their license reinstated after a certain amount of time, but face expensive fees and relicensing hurdles.
  • Points on a license. Added points on a driver’s license – combined with the driver’s history – may be enough to have a driver their driving privileges altogether or push a driver with a clean record close to losing their ability to drive.
  • Temporary or permanent loss of employment. Companies may look unfavorably on drivers with a DWI conviction, which could impact a driver’s ability to land work in the future.
  • Higher insurance rates. Similarly, insurance companies also will take into account a driver’s record and points on their license when calculating insurance rates. Some drivers may even find themselves unable to find an insurer that will provide them with a policy after a DWI conviction.
  • Stiff fines. There are many court-imposed fees to consider, not to mention penalties for a DWI violation.
  • Possible jail time. Depending on the severity of the DWI violation, some drivers could be facing time in jail if convicted on DWI charges.

All of these penalties are just an idea of how serious the consequences of driving under the influence are, but no driver should ever get behind the wheel if impaired – a fact that is especially true for CDL holders. While driving impaired puts other people and the driver at serious risk, it could also mean the end of a CDL driver’s career. If driving is your livelihood, always have a plan for when you drink. Call a cab, request a ride-sharing service or text a friend.

At The Law Offices of David B. Shapiro, our legal team has experience helping those facing DUI and DWI charges defend themselves in court. We know that people make mistakes, and we can help you put together the best defense possible. To learn more or to discuss the specifics of your case with our lawyers, call us today at 410-576-9100.



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