Everyone who wants a driver’s license must go through specialized education and pass a test. They will then need to purchase an insurance policy and register their vehicle with the state to legally drive on public roads. Continual compliance with traffic laws is also necessary, as those with repeat or severe driving infractions could lose their driver’s licenses.
Commercial drivers are subject to these same requirements and then some. They will have to go through more education and require specialized commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). They will typically need to perform more frequent maintenance inspections on their commercial vehicles and carry higher levels of insurance than the average driver.
Commercial drivers simply get held to a higher standard than those driving for their daily commute or to run household errands. What would a Texas driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense mean for your CDL and commercial driving career?
A conviction makes you ineligible for your CDL
You have to meet state and federal requirements to the eligible for a CDL and work in the transportation industry as a professional driver. A DWI conviction will automatically make you ineligible for a CDL.
You will be subject to a lower limit on your blood alcohol concentration when driving a commercial vehicle. You don’t even need to get arrested for drunk driving in a commercial vehicle. An infraction in your own vehicle can also mean the loss of your CDL and therefore your employment.
Drunk driving charges are not open-and-shut cases
Commercial drivers have more reason than the average person to fight back against drunk driving charges, but they may not feel like they have a chance of winning in court.
Someone who declares their own innocence may believe that chemical breath tests combined with police officer testimony will be enough to convict them even if they know they were sober at the time of their arrest.
Raising questions in court about an officer’s behavior or the accuracy of a breath test could help you avoid a conviction and keep your CDL and your job. Reviewing the evidence against you can be a good starting point for someone with a CDL who wants to protect their profession and income stream after a drunk driving arrest in Texas.