Buffalo DWI Lawyer
Because commercial driver license holders have to adhere to a lower BAC level, it’s more common to get a DWI. If you are dealing with a CDL suspension because of DWI, you might be scared of losing your livelihood. Contact dedicated Buffalo DWI Lawyer John M Dudziak to fight for you, your family, and your job.
Individuals driving in New York with a Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”) must adhere to more stringent legal rules than standard citizens. This makes sense, because commercial drivers are typically operating heavy, dangerous trucks. However, there are many alcohol-related implications that New York CDL drivers need to be aware of.
Until recently, New York commercial drivers only had to worry about CDL ramifications for DWI and other alcohol-related penalties if they were actually driving a commercial vehicle. However, recent legal developments have shifted the landscape. Now, commercial drivers can lose their CDL if they are charged with an alcohol-related offense, even if it is received while they are driving their personal vehicle.
If you are a commercial driver and have been charged with a DWAI or a DWI in New York and are worried about a CDL suspension, call us today for a FREE consultation. Our skilled Buffalo DWI lawyer can help you or a loved one.
Commercial Driver License DWI Issues
As mentioned above, commercial drivers face harsher penalties than standard drivers. For non-commercial drivers, driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) of .05 to .07 is categorized as a Driving While Ability Impaired (“DWAI”) in New York. However, CDL holders can now be charged with a violation if their BAC is between .04 and .06. This is a lower and stricter bar for commercial drivers.
Further, if CDL drivers are driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .06 to .08, they can now be charged with a misdemeanor. Contrast this with standard drivers, who do not incur criminal penalties until their BAC rises to .08.
Keep in mind that while CDL drivers face harsher penalties and stricter alcohol-related limits, they can also be charged with the penalties administered to standard drivers. That is, a commercial driver in New York that is charged with a DWI will lose both their CDL and their normal Driver’s License.
Penalties for Commercial Drivers / CDL Holders for Alcohol-Related Offenses
CDL Holder: “First Time Offense”
If you have a CDL and were charged with having a BAC of .04 or higher, you will lose your NY Commercial Driving License for a year (three years if you were transporting hazardous material) – regardless of whether you were driving a commercial vehicle. Additionally, if you were driving a commercial vehicle and had a BAC of .06 to .08, you can be charged with a crime (misdemeanor).
If you refused to Submit to a Chemical Test (covered by Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1194), such as a blood test, breath test, or urine test, then your CDL will be revoked for eighteen (18) months.
It is important to highlight that the above penalties apply to your CDL – you may also lose your regular Driver’s License, although it will likely be for a lesser period of time.
If you are a commercial driver and were charged with a DWI or other alcohol-related offense, call our Buffalo law firm today for a FREE consultation. Our talented Buffalo DWI attorney can help defend your rights.
CDL Holder: “Second Offense, or Subsequent Offender”
New York is very strict on commercial driver DWIs. If you are a CDL holder and have previously committed one of the following offenses, no matter how long ago the offense occurred, your CDL will be revoked for ten (10) years.
- Any commercial driver DWI related offense (Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1192).
- Leaving the scene of an accident which damaged property or caused injury.
- Any felony which involved the use of a vehicle.
- Refusing to Submit to a Chemical Test (Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1194).
If you have committed three (3) of these offenses, your CDL will be revoked permanently. (Note that the offenses must arise from separate incidents.)
Frequently asked Commercial Drivers License / CDL Suspension Questions
How does a DWI affect a CDL license?
- If you drive for a living, particularly a commercial vehicle, it’s extremely important that you contact a seasoned DWI attorney as soon as possible upon arrest. The reason for this is that Section 1196 7G of the vehicle and traffic law states that a certificate of relief from disabilities will not allow an individual to continue to drive a commercial vehicle. In addition, a conditional license that is often granted by the Department of Motor Vehicles does not allow an individual to continue to drive their commercial vehicle.In addition to that most folks do not realize that if you’re off, you’re on vacation, and you get a DWI while you’re driving your personal vehicle, it will still affect your ability to drive a commercial vehicle. You will not be able to use your conditional license to further your employment whether you’re a truck driver or even a taxi cab driver. It’s extremely important that you notify your attorney as soon as possible so certain things can be done or address the hearing that possibly could come your way.
Defending You Against a CDL Suspension
New York has passed a litany of harsh legal penalties for commercial drivers who are charged with DWI or DWAI. That said, our skilled Buffalo DWI lawyer has a wealth of experience defending CDL holders and protecting their rights.
Contact dedicated Buffalo DWI Lawyer John Dudziak for a FREE consultation and learn how we can help defend your livelihood and protect you from a CDL Suspension.
As a former Erie County Assistant District Attorney, former Town Attorney and Prosecutor for Lancaster, John M. Dudziak understands the law, and has the skills necessary to protect your rights. He is available 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week for a FREE phone consultation.