Drivers convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) can have their licenses taken away. This includes commercial drivers, such as truck drivers. The penalty for driving on a DUI or a DWI suspended license is dependent on whether this is your first conviction.
According to Texas Transportation Code §521.457, a person driving with a suspended license may face a Class C misdemeanor upon their first conviction of this crime. The penalties for this may include a $500 fine. However, a second offense may elevate this charge to Class B misdemeanor with 180 days of jail time and a $2,000 fine. Other circumstances can increase the severity of this charge as well.
When it comes to commercial drivers, certain convictions may result in a commercial driver’s license (CDL) being suspended for 1 year, 3 years, or for life, per Texas Transportation Code §522.081.
If you are facing charges for driving with a suspended license, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you get your charges dropped or have your sentencing or penalties reduced.
Driving While Intoxicated Versus Driving Under the Influence
In Texas, DWI and DUI are two completely different charges. Driving under the influence (DUI) is reserved for underage people (below the age of 21).
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is for adults 21 and over, although in some cases, this more serious charge may be given to an intoxicated underage driver.
A commercial driver faces a CDL suspension of at least one year for their first DWI. In addition, the legal limit for commercial drivers in Texas is 0.04% blood alcohol concentration (BAC)—less than the general legal limit of 0.08% BAC.
Drinking and Driving
The effects of alcohol on driving have been studied and documented for decades. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a BAC of just 0.02% can affect a driver’s:
- Ability to concentrate on multiple things at once
- Ability to process visual information
The higher your BAC becomes, the more your mental and physical abilities can be impaired.
The NHTSA reports that drunk drivers kill an average of over 10,000 people every year. This is one of the reasons why Texas has such strict anti-drunk driving laws and why the penalties for being convicted of drunk driving are so severe.
Seeking Legal Representation
The penalties for driving on a DUI or a DWI suspended license can include fines and time served in jail. A conviction can also harm your livelihood as a commercial driver.
Just remember that you still have rights, no matter the charges against you. If you decide to work with a criminal defense lawyer in your case, they may be able to defend your rights in the following ways:
- Examine your arrest: your lawyer can make sure that the arresting police officer followed all necessary procedures from the moment they pulled you over to the time of your arrest.
- Argue for a dismissal: if the officer did not follow procedure, or if your lawyer finds evidence of any other improprieties, your lawyer can try to get the case against you dismissed.
- Argue for a lesser charge: in the event that your charges cannot be dismissed, your lawyer may be able to get your charges or penalties reduced.
- Advise and advocate for you: being arrested and living with the possibility of a conviction can be very stressful. Your lawyer can explain your options to you, answer all of your questions, and fight on your behalf for a positive outcome.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Today
If you are facing charges of driving with a suspended license in Dallas-Fort Worth or the surrounding areas, the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg may be able to help you. We also defend clients from charges such as:
- Commercial DWI
- DWI Involving an Accident, Wreck, or Injury
- DWI Marijuana
- Under 21 DUI
- Underage DWI
Randall B. Isenberg has over 30 years of experience in the legal field, including past careers as both a Senior Chief Felony Prosecutor and State District Trial Judge. This history informs the criminal defense work that the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg performs today.
You do not need to face criminal charges on your own. For a free initial consultation on your case with a member of our team, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253.