Were you arrested for drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in New York?
Commercial drivers arrested on DUI charges can face serious consequences if convicted of the charges. Just one DUI conviction can lead to your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) being revoked or suspended which can negatively affect your ability to earn a living and provide for yourself.
However, it is important to remember that a DUI arrest does not always result in a full conviction with maximum penalties…
Getting Legal Help After A DUI Arrest
Our team of New York DUI defense attorneys have helped defend the rights of commercial drivers arrested on DUI charges throughout New York. We understand that this can be a difficult time for you and we are prepared to fight for your license.
Read below to learn more about DUI laws for commercial truck drivers in New York and the legal options available to commercial drivers arrested on intoxicated charges.
DUI Laws: Standard Drivers Vs. CDL Holders
The legal limit for most driver’s in the State of New York is 0.08% BAC. In other words, an individual operating a motor vehicle with a standard driver’s license can be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated if he or she is found to be operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
*Note: Standard motorists under the age of 21 years old can be charged with “Underage DWI” for driving a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% or higher.
What Is The Legal Limit For Commercial Drivers?
The DUI laws that apply to truck drivers and other commercial drivers in New York are much stricter than the those that apply to standard motorists.
Per Se DUI – Level I
According to Section 1192(5) of New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law, entitled “Commercial Motor Vehicles: Per Se – Level I,” a commercial driver can be charged with a “Level I” DUI for operating a commercial motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.04% to 0.06%.
Per Se DUI – Level II
According to Section 1192(6) of New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law a CDL holder can be charged with a “Per Se DUI – Level II” for operating a commercial vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content of more than 0.06% but less than 0.08%.
A Level II DUI is considered a misdemeanor which means that drivers arrested on Level II charges will face criminal charges and will have a criminal record if convicted of the charges.
Driving While Ability Impaired By Drugs
Commercial drivers can also be arrested on intoxicated driving charges for operating a commercial motor vehicle while being under the influence of any amount of a drug or controlled substance.
What Happens If I Am Arrested For DUI, DWI or DWAI?
If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) as a commercial driver then you could face a long list of penalties and consequences.
However, the penalties that you face will depend on the type of DWI-related offense you are being charged with and any prior DWI-related charges that you may have been convicted of in the past.
Commercial drivers convicted of a first offense DWI-related charge are subject to a one-year minimum CDL suspension. Your CDL will be subject to an automatic 3 year minimum suspension if you are convicted of first offense DUI offense while operating a commercial vehicle with hazardous materials.
Drivers convicted of a second DWI offense while operating a commercial motor vehicle under their CDL face a permanent license revocation with the possibility of applying for reinstatement after 10 years.
Commercial drivers convicted of a third offense will lose their license permanently with no possibility of applying for reinstatement.
Will I Lose My CDL If I Am Convicted Of a Standard DWI?
Before 2005 it was only possible for commercial drivers in New York to have their Commercial Driver’s License suspended or revoked if they were convicted of a DWI-related charge while operating a commercial vehicle.
Unfortunately, stricter laws were enacted by the New York State Assembly in 2005 which hold commercial drivers to much higher standards of conduct compared to other drivers.
Now CDL holders who lose their license in New York due to a standard DWI conviction will also lose their CDL – even if the DUI offense was committed in a non-commercial vehicle. The law doesn’t even allow for CDL holders to apply for a hardship license in order to drive a commercial motor vehicle and make a living.
That is why it’s so important for CDL holders to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney and explore all of their legal options after being arrested on DUI charges.
Can I Refuse A Chemical Breathalyzer Test?
Commercial drivers who refuse to submit to chemical tests face an automatic 18 month CDL suspension and are required to pay a $550 civil penalty fee when applying for a new commercial driver’s license.
Alternative Legal Options After A DUI Arrest
Were you arrested on DUI charges while operating a commercial motor vehicle in New York?
We’ve represented many CDL holders arrested on DUI charges over the years and we understand that this can be a scary time. You may be worrying about what to do next and where to turn for legal help.
Let our team of experienced DUI defense attorneys help you determine the best course of action based on your case. We offer free, no-obligation consultations for CDL holders facing arrested for DUI in New York.
Give us a call today for a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney and learn about all of your legal options.