The penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) can land you in hot water. A DWI conviction could lead to drowning fees in the thousands, and even incarceration. For commercial drivers, the consequences are even worse. You won’t only be saddled with statutory penalties, but administrative consequences related to your career
Licensing agencies reserve the right to discipline drivers who are charged or convicted of a serious traffic offense. Driving while intoxicated could lead to a disqualification of your commercial driver’s license in addition to the criminal penalties associated with DWI.
It’s time to start your defense now. Do what’s best for you and contact an attorney at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc..
Attorney for Commercial DWI in Houston, Texas
Commercial drivers have a lot to lose when they are charged with DWI. You won’t only be burdened with criminal penalties, but career-related consequences. A DWI conviction could mean a lifetime disqualification of your commercial driver license (CDL). It’s time you start your defense to protect your future. Do that now by contacting Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc..
The attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. are skilled in DWI law. We have represented numerous clients, including commercially licensed drivers. Call Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. at (713) 224-5529 for a case evaluation.
Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the Houston metroplex area including West University Place, Greenspoint, Pasadena and Uptown.
Overview of Commercial DWI in Texas
- DWI Penalties for Commercial Drivers in Texas
- Can A Commercial Driver Refuse Chemical Testing?
- I Have a DWI, Will I Lose My CDL for Life?
- How to Get Your CDL Back After DWI
- Additional Resources
Penalties for Commercial Driver DWI in Texas
Driving while intoxicated can lead to serious legal consequences for anyone. However, commercial drivers face an even greater risk. If you’re convicted, you’ll be forced to face statutory penalties and career-related consequences. You could lose your commercial driver’s license for up to one year for a DWI conviction. Multiple convictions could even result in disqualification for life.
Listed below are the statutory penalties for driving while intoxicated in Texas.
- First Offense – Class B Misdemeanor
- A fine of up to $2,000;
- Up to 100 hours of community service;
- License suspension for up to one year;
- Participation in DWI classes; and
- Up to 180 days in jail.
- Second Offense – Class A Misdemeanor
- A fine of up to $4,000;
- Up to 200 hours of community service;
- License suspension for up to two years;
- Installation of an ignition interlock device;
- Participation in a diversion program; and
- Up to 12 months in jail.
Can A Commercial Driver Refuse DWI Testing?
Implied consent laws state that you are implicitly agreeing to chemical testing if you drive on Texas public roads. These chemical tests use bio-samples to determine a person’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). If you have a BAC of. 08 or higher, then law enforcement can charge you for DWI. Refusing chemical testing violates implied consent laws. You won’t face a criminal penalty for a violation, but you will have your license suspended.
Commercial drivers cannot have a limit of or over .04 when they’re driving a commercial vehicle. If you’re driving a non-commercial vehicle, then the legal limit is the standard .08 BAC.
If you choose to submit and fail chemical testing, your CDL will be disqualified for:
- 1 year if you have a BAC of .04 or more;
- 1 year if you have a BAC of .08 or more while operating a non-commercial vehicle; or
- 3 years if you have a BAC of .04 while transporting hazardous materials
If you refuse chemical testing, then your CDL will be disqualified for:
- 1 year for a first refusal; or
- 3 years if you refused testing while transporting hazardous materials
I Have a DWI, Will I Lose My CDL for Life?
Commercial drivers have a responsibility to follow traffic rules for the sake of the general public. Because of this, DWI laws for commercial drivers are especially stringent. You could lose your CDL for life if you have multiple refusals or DWI convictions. There’s also no “look-back period” for prior DWI offenses. This means you could lose your CDL for something that happened years ago.
You could have your CDL disqualified for life if:
- You were convicted twice for any of the following offenses:
- Leaving the scene of an accident;
- Committing a felony with a motor vehicle;
- Driving with a revoked or suspended driver’s license; or
- Causes the death of another person through negligence or criminal means
- You had any combination of two or more of the following scenarios:
- A conviction for any of the offenses listed above;
- Refused chemical testing;
- A BAC of .04 or higher while operating a commercial vehicle; or
- A BAC of .08 or higher while operating a motor vehicle
How to Get Your CDL License After DWI
The first step to getting your CDL license back is by gaining legal representation. A skilled attorney can work alongside you to fight for your livelihood. They can utilize their resources and knowledge to create a sturdy defense for your case. An attorney may even be able to seal or expunge your charges some time.
If your CDL has already been disqualified, then an attorney can request a hearing to contest the action. However, you must act quickly. You can only file a request within 20 days of the disqualification notice. At the hearing, your attorney can present evidence to prove why your disqualification should be refuted. Your hearing will be held at either a county or municipal courts.
A commercial driver’s license can be reinstated after a period of time. To be eligible, the license must be disqualified for at least 10 years and there are no other traffic violations on your driving record.
CDL Disqualifications – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn more about commercial driver license disqualifications. Access the site to learn which traffic violations can lead to CDL disqualification and how to get your CDL license back.
Commercial Driver Laws in Texas – Visit the official website of Texas Legislation to learn more about commercial driver regulations. Access the site to learn more about how to get a CDL, their disqualifications and the Texas Hold‘em initiative.
DWI Lawyer for Commercial Drivers in Houston, Texas
Have you been charged with DWI? Are you also a commercial driver licensed by the state of Texas? If so, it’s crucial you start your defense as soon as possible. A DWI conviction can result in steep fines and possible incarceration. Not only this, but you could lose your commercial driver’s license for life.
Don’t wait another moment and call Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc.. Our attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. understand the ramifications of DWI for commercial drivers. We want to defend you and your livelihood in court with a strong defense. Call us now at (713) 224-5529 for a free case evaluation today.
Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the Harris County region including Houston, Pasadena, West University Place, Tomball and Bellaire.
This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.