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Longer Suspension Periods for Commercial Drivers Accused of DWI

Individuals with commercial drivers' licenses are held to higher standards than other drivers. This is largely because they hold higher risk of harming others due to the types of vehicles they drive. Commercial vehicles are often much larger and heavier than non-commercial vehicles, meaning they can cause a greater amount of harm in traffic accidents. Also, many commercial vehicles transport materials that can be hazardous if spilled, such as certain types of chemicals. Because of this, the state of Texas imposes harsher restrictions and punishments (such as license suspensions) for commercial drivers who are accused of driving while intoxicated, or DWI.

Instead of having a legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08%, commercial drivers have BAC thresholds of 0.04% when they are driving commercial vehicles. A BAC is the amount of alcohol that is in a person's system. It is used to determine whether a person was intoxicated during an alleged DWI offense, with anything above the legal limit being automatically considered a point of intoxication.

The DWI suspension periods that are given for commercial drivers are a clear example of how these individuals receive harsher punishments. The suspension periods are outlined by the Texas Department of Public Safety's Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program. If a commercial driver is shown to have operated a commercial vehicle with a 0.04% or higher, that individual can end up losing his or her commercial license for one year (or for three years if he or she was transporting hazardous materials at the time of their offenses). This is longer than the 90-day suspension periods that non-commercial drivers receive after first offenses.

Vehicles that usually require the drivers to have a commercial driver's licenses ( CDLs) are vehicles with gross vehicle weight ratings of more than 26,000 pounds, vehicles that carry hazardous materials for which warning signs are needed, and vehicles that are designed to carry 16 or more passengers. If an individual has a driver's license that has been cancelled, suspended or revoked in any state, he or she will not be able to obtain a CDL, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Losing a CDL can have a major negative impact on your ability to work and earn a living. Furthermore, a DWI can result in jail time, expensive fines and other negative consequences. It is important to remember that you have options for challenging your DWI charges and driver's license suspension. You are advised to find a qualified attorney who can help you employ the strongest defense plan possible in your case. At The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, our talented Plano DWI attorney has an extensive experience that can greatly benefit your case. If you are a commercial driver who is at risk of losing your license due to DWI charges, contact us immediately. We can provide you with the assistance you need!