The stakes are high for CDL holders charged with a DWI in Texas

Your commercial driver’s license is essential to your livelihood. However, a drunk driving charge can put everything you’ve worked so hard for at risk.

Texas takes these charges as seriously as the federal government. It’s important to understand what’s at stake and what steps you should take to help defend yourself against DWI charges.

The legal limit for CDL holders is lower than for other drivers

Just like federal law, Texas law sets the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at .04 for CDL holders. A BAC reading of .04 or higher will result in a Class B misdemeanor charge. A conviction carries serious penalties, including heavy fines and a possible jail sentence. Your CDL will also be suspended for one year. If you were hauling hazardous materials at the time, you face a three-year CDL suspension.

Any subsequent convictions for DWI while operating a commercial vehicle will result in a lifetime suspension of your CDL.

You should take quick action to address these charges

A DWI charge means an immediate suspension of your CDL. However, you will receive a brief period of relief. A temporary license will be issued to you. This temporary license will allow you to drive commercial vehicles for up to 41 days. Bear in mind, if you fail to take any action during this window your license suspension will take effect.

It’s crucial that you address the license suspension issue along with your criminal defense. You can request an administrative law hearing which will enable you to fight for your license and your livelihood. You should always discuss your options as soon as possible with a skilled legal professional.