What Happens When I Get A DWI in New York With A CDL?

While a DWI is always a serious offense in the state of New York, you will face even more severe penalties if you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). If you drive a truck or any commercial vehicle for a living in Westchester or Great Plains, it’s important to keep these potential consequences in mind. A DWI can prevent you from earning a living, and it may even end your career as a commercial driver. 

If you’re facing a DWI as a commercial driver, it’s important to enlist the help of a qualified, experienced attorney as soon as possible. A legal expert who understands New York’s DWI laws can help you keep your CDL so that you can continue to provide for yourself and your family. 

Commercial Drivers are Held to a Higher Standard

Commercial drivers are tasked with operating large, potentially dangerous vehicles, and they are held to a higher standard by New York laws. This is especially vital if you’re transporting hazardous materials that could pose a risk to the environment and the people around you. 

With a CDL, you will be charged with a DWI if you have a blood-alcohol level of 0.04% or higher. Not that this is half the BAC allowed for normal drivers (0.08%). It’s also important to understand that it doesn’t matter whether you’re driving your personal vehicle or a commercial vehicle. Either way, you’ll still be held to this higher standard. 

Penalties for a DWI with a CDL

The penalties for a DWI are quite severe if you have a CDL in New York:

  • First Offense: You face a jail sentence of up to one year, a CDL license suspension of one year, and fines of up to $1,000. If you were carrying hazardous materials, your CDL suspension is increased to three years
  • Second Offense: Permanent revocation of your CDL. You also face up to five years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. 

If you refuse a chemical test, your CDL will also be suspended for one year. When determining what constitutes a “second offense,” authorities will look at your entire driving record. Even if you committed a DWI 20 years ago, you will still be charged with a second offense. In contrast, a driver with a normal license enjoys a “lookback period” of around ten years. 

Getting Legal Help

Putting the legal consequences aside, the suspension of your CDL can have a major impact on your life. You may be forced to pay higher insurance rates, and it may be difficult to earn a living and provide for your family. With so much on the line, it’s essential that you enlist the help of a qualified attorney. Reach out to Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law today, and we’ll help you keep both hands on the wheel. 

DWI Attorneys


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