Do commercial drivers have different DWI rules than others?

One of the most oft-cited pieces of information about drunk driving cases is that a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is enough to get you charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). 

This is true in Texas for most drivers, as it is across the country. But do commercial drivers have different regulations and standards? 

Higher standards equal lower legal limits

Commercial drivers are held to different standards than other drivers. The legal blood alcohol limits are lower for commercial drivers since they spend so much time on the road, they have very large and potentially dangerous vehicles and they are professionals in this industry.

Here are a few of the limits regarding alcohol consumption and driving that you should know:

  • 0.08% — The “per se” intoxication limit for the general public, after which a court can assume the driver was impaired.
  • 0.02% — The BAC limit for underage drivers, known as a Zero Tolerance policy.
  • 0.15% — An aggravated BAC limit with enhanced penalties; this can bring on more strict ramifications than simply hitting 0.08%.
  • 0.04% — the lower limit that is placed on commercial drivers. 

Perhaps the biggest issue for commercial drivers, though, is that the loss of a license can make it impossible to work. For employees in other industries, getting to work can get more complicated — taking a cab, asking for rides, etc — but commercial drivers are in a fragile position because that DWI could cost them their very career. 

What are your options after a DWI charge?

If you are a commercial driver who is facing DWI charges, your career in the balance. It’s critical to know what legal options you have. You need to know how to protect your future. Speak with an experienced defense attorney today.