Houston DWI Defense for Commercial Drivers
Aggressively Representing CDL Drivers in Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria & Montgomery Counties
If you were charged with DWI while driving a commercial truck, you could be in danger of losing your Texas commercial driver’s license (CDL). The experienced Houston CDL DWI defense attorneys at Johnson, Johnson, & Baer, P.C. can help. If you drive a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, tractor trailer, or another commercial vehicle for a living, we are ready to fight to protect your driving privileges and secure your job.
The Legal Limit for CDL Drivers in Texas
The legal limit for intoxication while driving a commercial vehicle is well below the .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers with a standard license. If your BAC is .04 or higher while you’re operating a commercial vehicle on a Texas road, you are over the legal limit and could face DWI charges in addition to having your CDL revoked.
The .04 BAC limit for commercial drivers in Texas puts female CDL holders at a particular disadvantage due to physiological differences that prevent women from processing alcohol as quickly as men. A 140-pound woman who drinks a single light beer before getting behind the wheel may test at a .26 or higher BAC, making a second drink (or even half a drink) a risky prospect.
While men and larger individuals may need to drink a bit more heavily to reach this limit, it is possible to have a BAC of .04 or higher and not feel intoxicated or even buzzed, especially if you’re a regular drinker. Because of this, many people face CDL suspension even when they viewed themselves as safe to drive.
We Can Dispute Your CDL Suspension
If you’re pulled over by an officer who has probable cause to suspect you’ve been drinking, your mere presence on a public road provides implied consent for the officer to administer an alcohol test.
Refusing to take such a test will result in an automatic CDL suspension, as will consenting to the test and revealing a BAC higher than .04. If you’re charged with DWI, you’ll face an automatic suspension of your CDL for a maximum of one year.
However, commercial driver’s license suspension after a DWI arrest isn’t set in stone — you’ll have several opportunities to plead your case and attempt to renew your driving privileges. Our DWI defense attorneys for CDL holders in Houston are well versed in the CDL suspension process in Texas and can help present a strong defense on your behalf. Our goal is to help you maintain your livelihood after being arrested for DWI.
How We Can Get Your CDL Back
After your DWI arrest, you’ll be afforded the opportunity to request review of your CDL suspension through the administrative license review, or ALR dispute process. By requesting a hearing, you’ll be able to present your case to an administrative law judge and argue why you should be permitted to keep your CDL.
The time frame for your request for a hearing is a quick one — you have only 15 days following your arrest to request a hearing date. Missing this deadline will waive your ability to appeal the suspension. If the suspension is upheld at this hearing, you also have the right to appeal and must file a notice of your intent to appeal within 30 days of the adverse decision.
If you’re planning to pursue this option, it is usually a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney first. The administrative process can be complex and having a good Houston CDL DWI defense lawyer on your side can often mean the difference between keeping or losing your CDL or even winning or losing your underlying criminal case.
While drivers of passenger vehicles who are charged with DWI are often able to obtain occupational licenses to travel to and from work or school even with a suspended license (albeit with some significant restrictions), there is no equivalent for CDLs. Once your CDL is suspended for DWI, you’ll be restricted from driving commercial vehicles until one year has passed from your initial arrest, even if you’re able to obtain a hardship license to drive a passenger vehicle in the meantime.
To discuss your DWI case with our team at Johnson, Johnson & Baer P.C., give us a call at (713) 422-2270.