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What Happens to My CDL If I Get a Texas DWI?

There are thousands of Texans who rely on their commercial driver’s license (CDL) to earn a living and support their families by operating large vehicles that hold cargo or passengers. Without a CDL, you lose the ability to work and take care of the household.

One of the main reasons commercial drivers lose their driving privileges is a DWI conviction. Additionally, they can face penalties after being charged with a drunk driving offense.

While the legal limit for ordinary motorists is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent, commercial drivers can be charged with a DWI if their BAC is .04 percent or above. This legal limit is established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

A first-time DWI in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to 180 days, a maximum $2,000 fine, and suspension of your CDL for up to one year. If you were transferring hazardous materials at the time of the DWI arrest, you could lose your CDL for up to three years. For a second or a subsequent offense, you could lose your CDL for life.

If you submitted to a post-arrest chemical test and failed, your CDL will be confiscated and you will be given a temporary license that lasts for 41 days to continue driving commercial vehicles. During that time period, you must request a Texas DPS hearing to disprove elements in your charge. If you lose your DPS hearing, your CDL will be suspended for one year (unless you were transporting hazardous materials).

While you may keep your CDL, having a DWI on your criminal record can make it difficult to obtain employment. If you have been arrested for a DWI in Texas, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights, reputation, and future.

For more information about DWI in Dallas, contact the Law Offices of Robert Gregg today and schedule a free consultation today.