Many Texans depend on their commercial driver’s license (CDL) to make a living. But just because you have a CDL does not mean it cannot be revoked. One of the most common reasons people lose their commercial driver’s license in Texas is for driving while intoxicated.
Furthermore, people who already have a DWI on their record may find it difficult to obtain a commercial driver’s license when they wish to start working. It’s never a good idea to drive after you have been drinking – but especially when your livelihood depends on it.
What constitutes a DWI in Texas?
For non-commercial drivers, it is illegal to operate a passenger vehicle with a blood/alcohol level above 0.08 %. However, because commercial drivers usually drive much larger vehicles that increase the likelihood of serious bodily harm to people who share the road in the event of an accident, that number is significantly lower — 0.04%.
Even the penalties for commercial drivers are more severe than regular citizens. If you test for a BAC above 0.04 %, you could be facing between 3-180 days of jailtime, fines up to $2,000, and the loss or suspension of your CDL license.
The rules are different for commercial drivers
For regular drivers, the police must have “probable cause” to initiate a breathalyzer test. This could mean the smell of alcohol in the car, or the driver is swerving or driving erratically. However, because the standard for commercial vehicles is set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the United States Department of Transportation, and not just the state of Texas, the regulations on commercial vehicle drivers is much stricter.
The regulations for commercial drivers permit breath or alcohol testing in the following circumstances:
If there is any suspicion the driver is intoxicated or has been drinking
After an accident
When a driver with a suspended CDL is returning to work
Your best bet is not to drink at all before getting behind the wheel of your truck. With such strict laws, even a beer or two can put you over the limit, and you can be tested at almost any time. However, if you have already been arrested for a DWI in Texas, than you should consult with an experienced DWI attorney who can help you fight your case in court.
Contact a knowledgeable Texas DWI attorney
If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving while intoxicated in Texas, it is important to have a reliable Kingwood DWI attorney on your side. The attorney Andrew Williams has years of experience dealing with DWI cases for people with commercial driver’s licenses in Texas and will fight on your behalf for the best possible outcome. Contact our firm online or call 281-358-9111 to schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced DWI attorney.
About the Author: Andrew Williams I am a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years experience defending people accused of wrongdoing. I am board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Only ten percent of attorneys in Texas are board certified in their respective field. I practice criminal law exclusively in both state and federal court including appeals of criminal cases.