Commercial drivers depend on their commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) to earn a living. When a commercial driver faces DWI charges, the consequences are serious. Losing a CDL due to a DWI could mean the loss of your job as well as jail time and penalties. A conviction for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol could result in the suspension of your license to drive a commercial vehicle.
If you’re facing CDL DWI charges, you need an experienced Arkansas DWI lawyer on your side. The penalties are significant, and the risks are high when driving a commercial vehicle while intoxicated. At the Law Offices of Bryce Cook, we have extensive experience defending clients against CDL DWI charges. Founding attorney Bryce Cook gives every client his undivided attention and will presume that you are innocent until proven guilty. Contact the Law Offices of Bryce Cook today to schedule your initial consultation.
First Time DWI Charges Are Serious
The penalties for a first-time DWI in Arkansas are serious, especially if you have a commercial driver’s license. Arkansas is well-known for having some of the strict DWI laws in the country. A first time DWI can carry the penalties of monetary fines, a loss of your driving privileges, and jail time. After a police officer arrests you in Arkansas for a DWI, the officer will take your commercial driver’s license and provide you with an Official Drivers License Receipt and Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege.
This permit will allow you to continue driving for 30 days if you have a valid Arkansas driver’s license. The Notice will state that you have seven calendar days to request an administrative hearing. During the administrative hearing, a judge will determine whether or not you were intoxicated. You and the state will be able to present evidence of your blood alcohol content (BAC). Commercial drivers can face a conviction for a DWI with a BAC of .04 percent or higher. 12
The consequences of being the conviction of a CDL DWI are incredibly serious. If you are convicted of a first-time DWI, you will not be able to drive any commercial vehicle for 1 to 2 years, and points will be added to your driving record. If your BAC is under .04 percent, you will receive an out-of-service order for 24 hours. If your blood alcohol was over .04 percent while you were transporting hazardous materials, or you refused to take a breathalyzer test, you will lose your ability to drive a commercial vehicle.
Conviction of a Second CDL DWI in Arkansas
If you’re convicted of a DWI with a blood-alcohol level of .04 percent or higher while driving a commercial vehicle, you will lose the ability to drive a commercial vehicle for life. A subsequent major offense, including a DWI conviction, will also result in a lifetime disqualification. After ten years, the truck driver can request reinstatement of his or her license, however. When a court convicts a Georgia driver of the production or transportation of a controlled substance while using a commercial driver’s license, the court will revoke the CDL license without reinstatement.
Submitting a Request for an Administrative Hearing
If you do not request an administrative hearing within seven days of receiving the Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privileges, your commercial driver’s license and driving privileges will be suspended. By not responding within the seven days, you will also forfeit your right to an administrative hearing.
The best thing you can do after being charged with a DWI is to hire an experienced lawyer who will advocate for you. At the Law Offices of Bryce Cook, we have successfully helped drivers keep their commercial driver’s licenses. We will attend your hearing and present evidence in your favor. You will not have to go through the criminal process alone.
Commercial Drivers Have a Duty to Report All Traffic Convictions
If you’re facing DWI charges as a commercial driver, you are likely concerned about your job and your future. These concerns can lead some commercial drivers to avoid reporting their traffic citations to their employers. Under Arkansas law, however, drivers with a CDL must report all of their traffic convictions, including DWI convictions, to their employer and the state of Arkansas.
Those who do not report convictions face a 90-day driver’s license revocation. A second failure to report carries a one-year revocation. A third failure-to-report carries a lifetime disqualification. These rules govern all traffic convictions, including speeding tickets and parking tickets.
We Will Dispute Your CDL License Suspension After a DWI Charge
If you received a license suspension because you refused to take a field sobriety test, we could help you. When an Arkansas law enforcement officer has probable cause to suspect that you were drinking and driving, he or she can pull you over and administer a field sobriety test. When you refuse to take the test, your license is automatically suspended. Your license will also be automatically suspended if you consent to take the test, and it reveals that your blood alcohol content is over .04 percent.
You will have several different opportunities to try to get your CDL license reinstated. First, you can attempt to have it reinstated at the administrative hearing, mentioned above. You will be able to plead your case to an administrative judge. If the judge upholds your license suspension, you will still have another right to appeal, but you must do so within a tight timeframe. If you plan to fight your suspension, consulting with an Arkansas CDL DWI lawyer is essential.
Contact Our CDL DWI Law Firm Today
Founding attorney Bryce Cook understands how difficult it is to face a DWI conviction. He approaches his clients’ cases from all possible angles and defends them as thoroughly and aggressively. He’s dedicated to the belief that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Contact Law Offices of Bryce Cook today to schedule your initial consultation.