Posted on 11/15/21

If you are facing a DWI conviction, you may be concerned about losing your commercial driver’s license. Without a commercial driver’s license, you may lose your ability to earn a living. In Texas, a DWI will affect your commercial driver’s license. If you are convicted of a DWI charge in Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety will suspend your commercial driver’s license for at least one year. Being convicted of a DWI while driving your personal vehicle will also affect your commercial driver’s license.

The Legal Limits are Lower for CDL Holders

CDL holders are under a stricter standard than other drivers regarding the legal limit of intoxication. It is easier to be convicted of a DWI when behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle than when driving your personal vehicle. Under Texas laws and the regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration apply when a driver with a CDL is convicted of a DWI in a commercial vehicle. The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .04% for commercial driver’s license holders. The legal blood alcohol content limit for other drivers with standard licenses is .08% or higher.

The Penalties of a DWI Conviction 

The consequences are similar regardless of what vehicle you were driving when you were arrested for a DWI. You will face a Class B misdemeanor charge. If you are convicted of the DWI, you could receive the following penalties:

  • Up to six months in jail

  • Mandatory attendance in an Alcohol Awareness Program

  • Up to $2,000 in fines

  • A one-year suspension of your CDL

  • A driver’s license suspension

  • Probation

  • Community service

With every subsequent DWI conviction, the penalties increase substantially. After a second DWI conviction, the Texas Department of Public Safety will disqualify your commercial driver’s license for life. In other words, you will lose your commercial driver’s license and not obtain another one.

How to Keep Your CDL

If you can beat the DWI charges, you won’t have to face the DWI penalties. You may be able to successfully challenge the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) that you will automatically receive after being arrested for a DWI. You only have a short period to file for a hearing so you can appeal the disqualification of your CDL. You only have 20 days to provide notice that you would like to challenge the disqualification. If you have lost at an administrative hearing, you can appeal that decision. 

Contact a Dallas/Ft. Worth Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a DWI, your CDL and way to earn a living are in jeopardy. You can count on the team of criminal defense attorneys at Abel Law Firm to fight for you. Our experienced DWI defense lawyers will advocate for you to keep your CDL and beat the DWI charge. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. 

Flower Mound Office

Phone: 972.584.7837

Denton Office