Commercial Vehicle DWI / DUI
All driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests cause a number of problems for the alleged offenders, but few groups are impacted as severely by drunk driving charges as individuals who drive commercial vehicles for a living. When a truck driver is arrested for DWI (often referred to as driving under the influence or DUI in many other jurisdictions) in Texas, a conviction will result in that person’s commercial driver's license (CDL) being suspended and preventing him or her from being able to maintain a living and providing for his or her family.
Operators of commercial vehicles are held to a higher standard of sobriety under both state and federal law, but it is important to remember that even arrests occurring from the operation of a traditional passenger vehicle can negatively impact the status of that person’s CDL. Repeat DWI convictions will result in lifetime CDL disqualifications.
Lawyer for Commercial Vehicle DWI / DUI Arrests in Conroe, TX
Are you a commercial driver who has been arrested for any kind of alleged drunk driving offense in Montgomery County? Do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact Evans & Powell, PLLC as soon as possible.
Conroe criminal defense attorneys Sean Evans and Frank Powell represent clients facing all types of DWI charges in communities all over the Montgomery County area, including Shenandoah, Willis, Oak Ridge North, Patton Village, The Woodlands, Pinehurst, and many others. You can have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (936) 622-2000 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Montgomery County Commercial Vehicle DWI Information Center
- How are DWI laws different for commercial drivers?
- What are the possible CDL suspension periods for commercial drivers convicted of DWI?
- Where can I learn more about commercial DWI / DUI with child passenger in Conroe?
Texas Transportation Code § 522.003(5) defines a commercial motor vehicle as a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used to transport passengers or property that:
- has a gross combination weight or a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, including a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight or a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds;
- has a gross vehicle weight or a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds;
- is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
- is transporting hazardous materials and is required to be placarded under 49 C.F.R. Part 172, Subpart F.
People typically commit the “per se” (Latin phrase for "by itself" or "in itself") crime of DWI under Texas Penal Code § 49.04 when they operate motor vehicles in public places while having alcohol concentrations of 0.08 or more. Any person with a CDL, however, can be considered legally intoxicated if he or she has an alcohol concentration of 0.04—only half the legal limit for all other drivers.
All commercial drivers are considered to have consented to blood alcohol testing, and any refusal to submit to testing results in the immediate suspension of driving privileges for 24 hours as well as disqualification of that person’s CDL for at least one full year.
Criminal penalties for commercial DWI offenses are the same as they are for the drivers of passenger vehicles. A first DWI offense is typically a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000, although alleged offenses involving alcohol concentrations of 0.15 or higher are Class A misdemeanor offenses punishable by up to one year in jail and/or fines of up to $4,000.
For many commercial drivers, an even greater area of concern can be the possible duration of any CDL suspension. A person who holds a commercial driver's license or commercial learner's permit is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year under Texas Transportation Code § 522.081 if he or she:
- is convicted of DWI;
- refused to submit to a test to determine his or her alcohol concentration or the presence in the person's body of a controlled substance or drug while operating a motor vehicle in a public place;
- had an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more, or that a controlled substance or drug was present in the person's body, while operating a commercial motor vehicle in a public place; or
- had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more while operating a motor vehicle, other than a commercial motor vehicle, in a public place.
Individuals can be disqualified from operating commercial vehicles for three years if they are convicted of DWI in a vehicle transporting a hazardous material required to be placarded. A second DWI conviction results in a lifetime CDL suspension.
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) — The mission of the TxDMV is to serve, protect and advance the citizens and industries in the state with quality motor vehicle related services.” The agency annually registers almost 24 million vehicles, regulates vehicle dealers, and credentials buses and big trucks for intrastate and interstate commerce in addition to other responsibilities. Find various forms, publications, and statutes and rules under the Motor Carriers section of this website.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) — The FMCSA is the United States Department of Transportation agency responsible for regulating the trucking industry. On this website, you can read about different FMCSA regulations, including civil penalties, exemptions, and petitions for reconsideration. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions about carrier and vehicle safety, laws and regulations, and state issues.
Evans & Powell, PLLC | Conroe Commercial Vehicle DWI / DUI Defense Attorney
If you are a commercial driver who was arrested for an alleged DWI offense anywhere in the Montgomery County area, it is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. Evans & Powell, PLLC defends individuals who operate commercial vehicles in Panorama Village, Splendora, Cut and Shoot, Porter Heights, Magnolia, Woodbranch, and many surrounding areas of Montgomery County.
Sean Evans and Frank Powell are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Conroe who can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (936) 622-2000 or fill out an online contact form to have our attorneys review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.