The stakes are high when a person faces a DWI charge. Penalties are severe and can have far-reaching consequences well into the future. This is even more true for commercial drivers facing DWI charges. In order to operate a commercial motor vehicle in the State of Arkansas, a person must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The responsibility of safely operating these oversized vehicles that may be carrying hazardous substances on occasion cannot be understated. This is why CDL drivers up against DWI charges face even more serious consequences than other drivers.
Potential Penalties for a Commercial Driver Facing a DWI Charge
In order to obtain a CDL, a driver must acquire specific endorsements and be subject to certain restrictions, all of which can vary depending on the type of CDL. The driver must successfully pass tests and meet other requirements to obtain a specific type of CDL. Having a CDL is a great responsibility. As previously mentioned, these oversized vehicles can wreak havoc on the roads when not safely operated. That is why CDLs can even be revoked as a result of things like improper operation or criminal convictions.
Because of the added responsibilities CDL drivers have on the road, they are held to higher standards in many regards. For instance, a driver of a commercial vehicle is considered to be legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol (BAC) level is .04 or greater. This is well below the standard applied to drivers of non-commercial vehicles.
There are a number of serious potential penalties CDL drivers face when being involved in DWI or a related offense. For instance, there can actually be several different DWI related offenses that can result in CDL revocation for one year. A CDL holder can have the license revoked for refusing to submit to a chemical test. The CDL can also be revoked if the holder is convicted of a DWI. Additionally, the CDL can be revoked for the driver being convicted of a DWI while operating a commercial vehicle. If the DWI was committed while the CDL driver was transporting hazardous materials, the CDL will be revoked for three years. If a CDL holder commits a second offense, the CDL will likely be revoked for life. Unfortunately, revocation of a CDL can be a particularly difficult penalty as it impacts a person’s livelihood. Without a CDL, a driver will likely find himself or herself out of a job. If it is a second offense, the penalties increase. The CDL holder, if convicted, will face imprisonment of 30 days and up to one year as well as a minimum of 60 days of community service and fines ranging from $400 to $3,000.
CDL holders facing a first time DWI offense face imprisonment for up to one year. Furthermore, they face at least 30 days of community service and fines ranging from $150 to $1,000.
CDL drivers must report all traffic convictions to both the state and to their employer. If the CDL driver fails to report a conviction, they face a 90-day revocation of the CDL. If it is a second offense, it will be a one year revocation period. If it is a third offense, it will be a lifetime revocation.
DWI Defense Attorney
Are you a CDL driver facing a DWI charge? If so, you are up against some very serious potential consequences. For help to fight your DWI charge, get in touch with the Law Offices of Bryce Cook. Contact the Law Offices of Bryce Cook today.