Challenges for Commercial Truck Drivers with DWI Charges

DWI Defense for Truckers & Commercial Drivers

A DWI arrest can upend anyone’s life. But commercial truck drivers face the immediate loss of their livelihood. Without your CDL it will be very hard to find employment—in fact, you might be forced to switch to a lower paying job just to make ends meet.

Texas, like other states, has tougher rules for commercial truck drivers when it comes to driving while intoxicated. Please reach out to Tad Nelson to discuss your criminal charges if you’re a trucker charged with drunk driving. We excel at helping our CDL clients overcome the obstacles in their way.

CDL Drivers Have a Lower Legal Limit

The blood alcohol content (BAC) legal limit in Texas is 0.08 for most drivers. But the limit for commercial drivers is 0.04. Depending on your size, even one or two beers could put you over this number, meaning you have automatically committed DWI. Someone who drinks regularly might not even feel buzzed or lightheaded with a 0.04 BAC, so it is fairly easy to commit a violation.

Of course, you can also be convicted for DWI with a BAC under the limit, if you lacked normal faculties to drive safely. But blowing a high number on a breathalyzer makes getting a conviction easier for the state.

Your Employer Might Suspend You

Suspension can happen in one of several situations.

DWI Defense for Texas TruckersFor example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration prohibits truckers from using alcohol within four hours of going on duty. The agency also prohibits truckers from having alcohol in their cabs. If you violate either of these provisions, your employer must place you off duty for at least 24 hours.

Truckers are required to notify their employers within 30 days of any traffic violations. This includes DWI. If you are convicted of DWI, your employer cannot use you if your license is suspended.

Trucker companies can also set their own regulations, which might be stricter than what the FMCSA requires. Some trucking companies could suspend you for weeks or months, even for an arrest. Driving with any alcohol in your system makes you a greater risk for the company.

The Federal Government Might Ban You from Driving

The FMCSA can also label you an “imminent hazard” simply for being arrested for DWI. This happened recently in Nevada when a trucker had two drunk driving arrests within a twelve-day period. His BAC on both occasions was 0.337 and 0.282.

The federal agency didn’t wait around for a conviction to keep him from getting behind the wheel again. They immediately prohibited him from driving in interstate commerce. Any violation of this imminent hazard order also carries penalties.

Contact a Houston DWI Attorney Today

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A. Nelson is proud to represent CDL holders in DWI cases. We have helped truck drivers through the administrative license review process and can fight so that you retain your license and your job. We can also negotiate a plea deal or even defend you in court. Please contact our DWI law firm today to schedule a free consultation to review your criminal case. Our phone number is 713-489-7373.