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How A DWI Affects Your Commercial Drivers License

by Dec 14, 2021Criminal Defense Attorney, Dea Cortney, DWI / DUI

A job on the road appeals to many Minnesotans. A career driving an 18-wheeler, livestock carrier, flatbed, or another commercial vehicle has many benefits: these jobs are flexible and pay well, not to mention the scenery is usually better than what you’d see looking out an office window!

If you’re employed as a truck driver, you must maintain a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive such large vehicles. As MN attorneys for drivers license revocation, we are well aware of how difficult a commercial license can be to obtain. Once you’ve qualified, you want to do everything possible to keep your valid CDL. That’s why it’s so important to know how a DWI charge may jeopardize your license and even end your career. 

A First-Time DWI

If it’s your first time being convicted of a DWI you will automatically lose your CDL for one year. This is a federal regulation that applies in addition to any consequences imposed by the state of Minnesota. You don’t need to be operating your commercial motor vehicle (CMV) at the time of the arrest; the regulations still apply if you were driving a personal vehicle when you got arrested. However, it’s important to note that if you are driving a commercial vehicle and get pulled over, a BAC level of just 0.04 is enough to be charged with a DWI. This is substantially lower than the usual 0.08 for personal vehicles. 

If you’re being charged with a DWI for the first time, it is possible your criminal defense attorney can successfully get your case dismissed or your charges reduced. Remember, losing your CDL isn’t the only consequence of a DWI conviction. You might also be forced to pay a hefty fine upon conviction, and the DWI will remain on your record. Even if you still face a suspension of your CDL, we may be able to minimize other collateral consequences. When so much is on the line, it pays to work with a skilled defense attorney. 

A Second DWI

Any driver who is convicted of a second DWI, whether they were driving a personal or commercial vehicle at the time, permanently loses their commercial license. This may be a career-ending consequence due to an honest mistake. After all, it is very easy to achieve a BAC of 0.04 after just a couple drinks – you may not have even realized you were over the limit. Unfortunately, it’s uncommon to have DWI charges with adequate evidence dismissed, especially if you’ve been convicted previously. However, DWIs are commonly doled out by law enforcement based on questionable evidence, such as an inaccurate breath or blood test. If you believe you were unfairly charged, a Minnesota DWI defense lawyer may be able to get your case dismissed.

Minnesota DUI-DWI attorneys can’t help with your second DWI if you’ve already been convicted, so contact us right away to start building your defense. Your MN DWI defense lawyers may be able to prevent a conviction, which is a necessity if you hope to continue driving commercially. 

DWI Defense Lawyers in MN for CDL License Revocation

Always consult a DWI defense attorney in Minnesota before you are convicted if you hope to keep your CDL. You have a right to high quality representation, and our Minnesota criminal defense attorneys are prepared to help you fight for your rights. Contact Sieben Edmunds Miller’s DWI team as soon as you are charged with a DWI to get started on your defense.

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