Does a DUI in Texas Affect a Commercial Driver’s License?
The short answer to this question is yes, a conviction of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas will impact your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Upon a conviction of impaired driving, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) can suspend your CDL for one year or longer. This is the case whether you were driving a commercial vehicle or your personal passenger vehicle when the DWI offense happened.
If you need your CDL to work and are arrested for DWI, you want a highly experienced Fort Worth DWI attorney on the case immediately.
When You are Driving a Commercial Vehicle
Generally, a Texas driver can be arrested and convicted of DWI if the prosecutor can prove they had a blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.08 percent or had visible signs of impairment. However, if someone is operating a commercial motor vehicle when they are stopped, the legal limit is cut in half to 0.04 percent. It is much easier for commercial drivers to get convicted of DWI if they were behind the wheel of a commercial truck at the time.
Penalties for a DWI
Whether you received a DWI in your semi-truck or your personal vehicle, you can face the same consequences for a DWI conviction. Generally speaking, you can face the following:
- Class B misdemeanor charges
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Fines up to $2,000
- Suspension of your personal AND commercial driver’s licenses
- Required participation in an alcohol awareness program
- Community service
If you have a previous DWI on your record, the DPS can disqualify your CDL permanently.
While the penalties for DWI are always serious, they can be absolutely devastating for a commercial driver. Without your CDL, you might not be able to earn a living as you usually would. You might have to shift your entire professional life, which can completely disrupt your life. It is imperative that you have the right legal help to fight for your CDL privileges.
How a DWI Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you have a lawyer who successfully avoids a DWI conviction for you, the penalties for a conviction will not apply, including the one-year suspension of your license. Your attorney can also assist you with challenging the administrative license revocation that you received right after your arrest.
This ALR can happen even without a conviction, and there are strict deadlines to mount a challenge, so you want to act fast. You have 20 days to request a hearing to appeal the revocation of your CDL. Reach out to a DWI defense lawyer immediately so we can begin this process.
We can also help in working to:
- Have your charges dropped whenever possible
- Negotiate less serious charges or penalties
- Identify when the traffic stop or arrest was illegal