If you hold a commercial driver’s license in order to operate a commercial vehicle that carries cargo or passengers, your livelihood depends on your license. Without it, you cannot work and support yourself or your family. Therefore, it is paramount that you do everything possible to keep your driving record clean so that your ability to work remains intact.
Being convicted of a Texas DWI can end your commercial driving career. It can also make it impossible to obtain a CDL in the first place. Like other states, Texas holds commercial drivers to a higher standard than others. In Texas, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures .04 percent or higher when driving a commercial vehicle with a CDL, you can be convicted of a DWI. This is .04 percent lower than that for other drivers.This is a standard set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which considers such a standard as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Penalties for a CDL DWI in Texas
The penalties you will face will depend on whether your offense is a first or subsequent one.
For a first-offense DWI, you will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a minimum of three days in jail with a potential jail sentence of up to 180 days. A fine of up to $2,000 may also be imposed by the court. Additionally, you will face the administrative penalty of a suspension of your CDL for up to a year. If at the time of your arrest, you were carrying hazardous materials, your license suspension could be lengthened for up to three years. In a second or subsequent DWI, your CDL could be revoked for the rest of your life.
When pulled over for a CDL DWI, if you failed the chemical test, the arresting police officer will confiscate your CDL and give you a temporary license that allows you to continue driving for a set period of time. During that limited time period, you will have to attend an administrative hearing with the Texas DPS to challenge the loss of your CDL. By law, you will have 20 days to request the hearing. If you fail to prevail at the hearing, your automatic license suspension will take place. It is highly recommended that you have legal representation at such a hearing to give you the best chance for a favorable outcome.
If you refuse to submit to the chemical test when pulled over, you will also face a one-year suspension of your CDL. You will have 15 days to request the administrative hearing with the DPS under these circumstances. Under the implied consent law, all drivers are obligated to undergo chemical testing as part of the agreement of license acceptance with the state.
Why You Need Rodriguez & Gimbert for a Texas CDL DWI
Losing your commercial license ends your driving privileges as a professional. Even if you continue to work with a CDL after your DWI conviction penalties are over, it will be difficult to find employment in the trucking industry. You will have the liability of a previous DWI that will make potential employers turn you away.
At Rodriguez & Gimbert, serving all of Brazos County, we recommend that you contact us to discuss your DWI case with one of our experienced attorneys. Our firm has a long history of success in helping clients to reach favorable results when facing DWI and other criminal penalties.
Reach out to our legal team at (979) 559-3599 for a free consultation today.