You may worry about the effect a DWI can have on your life. But if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), a conviction can be especially serious. Not only do you face the penalties of a Minnesota DWI, but you can also lose your ability to work.

Minnesota has harsh punishments for CDL drivers who violate the law. A DWI conviction can leave a driver out of work, unable to provide income.

A minimum of one-year license suspension

Your CDL is your license to work and make money. But a first-offense DWI can mean a year-long license suspension for the following reasons:

  • You receive a DWI conviction for driving a commercial vehicle, either for alcohol or controlled substances
  • Your breath or blood test comes back over 0.04% after you drove a commercial vehicle
  • Your breath or blood test comes back over 0.08% after you drove a non-commercial vehicle
  • You refuse a breath or blood test, regardless of the vehicle you drove

If you get a DWI while hauling hazardous goods, you face a three-year license suspension. After a second DWI, you lose your CDL for life.

No license means no work

While DWIs can affect all drivers through license suspensions, fines or jail time, a conviction for you means you can’t work. For a first-time offense, you must find a way to go through a whole year without being able to drive. And once you get your CDL back, you must convince employers to hire you, even though you have a DWI on your record.

If you are a commercial driver, you face stricter DWI laws than other drivers in Minnesota.