In order for a person to operate a large vehicle such as a bus or tractor-trailer, they are required to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This is because driving these massive vehicles requires certain training and understanding the specific for their safe operation. One of the rules that must be followed, just like other vehicles, is not driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Not only can this impact the career of the driver, but it can seriously endanger others sharing the road with them. If a commercial driver’s license holder violates this law, they can be charged with a DWI. If you have a commercial driver’s license and have been charged with a DWI either while driving a commercial vehicle OR driving your personal vehicle, it is crucial to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey DWI defense attorney.
Consequences of a DWI for a Commercial Driver’s License Holder
It is illegal for all drivers in the state of New Jersey to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to statute, a CDL licensed driver who is operating a commercial vehicle can be charged with a DWI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .04% or more, if they refuse to provide a breath sample, or they are found to be under the influence of drugs. The consequences of these charges can be severe. For a first time conviction, the individual can face a CDL suspension for one year. If the vehicle was transporting hazardous materials, they may not be allowed to operate a commercial vehicle for three years. In the event of a second offense while under the influence or refusal while operating a commercial vehicle, the individual may be prohibited from ever operating a commercial vehicle again.
It is important to know that a CDL licensed driver can be charged with a DWI if they are in a passenger vehicle as well. This may be the case if their BAC was .08% or higher, under the influence of drugs, or refuse to submit to a breath sample. When this happens for a first offense, the driver may face a regular driver’s license suspension between four and 12 months and a commercial license suspension for one year. If they are charged for a second time with driving a passenger vehicle while under the influence or refusal, it may result in the suspension of the driver’s regular license for a minimum of one year and the permanent revocation of their CDL.
DWI Defenses in NJ
When dealing with DWI charges, there are many different defenses that may be available. This begins with an assessment of the conditions surrounding the stop and arrest. This is because circumstances may have occurred that can invalidate the stop and the evidence found from it which would include any breath samples which were taken. It is because of this that it is important to retain the services of an experienced attorney to provide a strong defense.
Contact our Firm
If you or your family member has been charged with a DWI, having an experienced criminal defense team available to advocate on your behalf is crucial. The Rem Katcher Law Group, P.C. is here to help. Contact our firm today.