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How drunk driving rules are stricter for people with CDLs

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | DWI

For some people, having a driver’s license isn’t just about convenience. It is their primary source of income. Those who drive for a living typically require special licenses and additional insurance when compared with the average driver.

When you get your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you have to go through additional education beyond basic driver’s education. People with a CDL are subject to stricter driving laws than those in control of passenger vehicles.

In fact, some of those strict requirements apply not just when they are at work but even when they are in their personal vehicles. For professional drivers based out of Texas, a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge could have significant consequences for their professional future. How are DWI rules stricter for someone with a CDL? 

Their off-duty behavior affects their on-the-job licensing

Often, someone’s conduct in their daily life will not influence their professional licensing. However, the way you drive while off the clock can absolutely affect your ability to continue driving for pay. Even minor traffic tickets can eventually add up and make you ineligible for a CDL.

If you get arrested for a DWI in your own vehicle, you will be ineligible to hold a CDL for a year afterward. After a second conviction, that could mean a lifetime loss of CDL eligibility. Avoiding bad driving decisions on your own time is as important as having good driving habits while at work for those with a CDL.

They are subject to stricter limits while on the job

For most drivers in Texas, the legal limit for their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%. Even without displaying signs of impairment, someone over the legal limit can face criminal charges.

The same is true for a truck driver. They don’t have to show poor driving skills to face criminal charges for exceeding the legal limit for alcohol. However, the legal limit is half as high for them, meaning they may not notice any perceptible impact from the alcohol. A BAC of just 0.04% is enough to trigger a DWI for someone in control of a commercial vehicle.

Knowing the Texas DWI laws can help you make decisions about how to defend yourself and your CDL.