Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in Texas with severe penalties that could stay with you for years. This situation becomes more complex when you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Beyond considerations like jail time and stiff fines, you might also have to contend with license suspension and difficulty finding work.
The last thing you should do is leave your future up to chance. Our commercial DWI lawyer in Southlake, TX, can work on your behalf to lessen your most serious consequences. Depending on the circumstances, you might even be able to get your charges dropped or reduced. You can reach out to the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg for a free case evaluation to learn more about your legal options.
How a Commercial Driver’s License Affects a DWI Charge in Texas
A DWI conviction is serious for anyone, but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) holds CDL-holding drivers to an even higher standard than other motorists.
Texas law views a DWI while operating a work vehicle as posing a greater threat to public safety. It’s important to note these severe penalties can apply even if you weren’t driving your work vehicle when stopped.
How a Commercial Driver’s License Affects the Legal BAC Limit
Like other states, Texas sets its legal limit for drunk driving at a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. Even so, the FMCSA sets this limit at half the amount for CDL drivers—a BAC of 0.04% could land you in legal jeopardy.
Along with a lower BAC limit, you could also be charged with DWI if you drive within four hours of consuming an alcoholic beverage. With these stricter restrictions come an increased risk of facing DWI charges as a CDL carrier.
What Is Implied Consent and What Happens if I Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test?
All drivers with a valid CDL provide implied consent that they will submit to a breathalyzer test as requested if they are suspected of driving while drunk. This is automatic and applies to all CDL drivers. Even so, an officer can’t physically force you to take a test.
You should keep in mind that you can face penalties if you refuse to submit to chemical testing. Your CDL will automatically be suspended for at least 180 days. This can complicate your options if you face a charge for this or any similar crime.
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What Are Some of the Consequences of a Commercial DWI Conviction in Texas?
Commercial DWI is a serious offense (Penal Code § 49.04) that can negatively affect your life for a long time if you are convicted. A first conviction could end with a one-year suspension of your commercial driver’s license, even if you were driving your car when you were stopped.
If convicted of commercial DWI while carrying hazardous materials, your commercial driver’s license could be taken away for three years. If this is your second offense, you could lose your CDL permanently.
This can be devastating for any commercial driver, especially those who have been in this line of work for a long time. Even after authorities reinstate your CDL, you could face difficulties getting work, as a gap on your resume could make matters more challenging.
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How Can a Commercial DWI Lawyer Help?
It’s easy to feel alone when facing a commercial DWI charge. You might feel embarrassed, you may not know who to turn to, and you could be facing doubts that a criminal defense attorney could even help.
As a CDL driver, you’re used to working on your own. While that might help while you’re on the clock, that’s the last thing you want to do when facing charges. A commercial DWI Southlake, TX, attorney with our firm has the experience and resources that could help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
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Our Lawyer Can Review the Chemical Test Results for You
Our commercial DWI lawyer can look at the breathalyzer results in your case. Breathalyzer machines are delicate instruments that professionals must maintain. A breathalyzer device that doesn’t meet standards could produce faulty results. Our attorney team understands how vital it is to review law enforcement’s findings and seek out the facts so that we can establish a sound defense.
We Can Challenge Probable Cause Assertions in a DWI Case
Along with examining your breathalyzer test results, our lawyer can also hold officers accountable for rights violations as well as breaches of protocol if they occurred. If you were not properly read your rights, for instance, your attorney could use this as part of your defense.
The arresting officer must be able to argue probable cause when stopping drivers they suspect are operating a vehicle while intoxicated. We can analyze the police report and look for opportunities to argue that probable cause does not apply to your case.
Other defenses could include showing that chemical test results were tampered with or that you were below the legal BAC limit. Whatever your case’s circumstances are, our team will do all they can to seek the best outcome in your case.
Why Should I Go With Randall B. Isenberg?
Here at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we ensure that your side of the story is considered and seek to help you defend yourself against charges in your case. Whether you’re facing a single misdemeanor charge or multiple felonies, we’ve built a team that knows what goes into a legal defense that can give you back your life. Along the way, we’ve helped dozens of clients facing DWI charges, and we want to help you.
Get Your Free Southlake, TX, DWI Case Consultation Today and Start Building Your Defense
It might not seem like it right now, but you still have a bright future ahead of you, even if you are facing a criminal charge. If you are ready to discuss your commercial DWI case with an attorney, our commercial DWI lawyer in Southlake, TX, is ready to help. Reach out to the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today for a free consultation.