When you obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you must adhere to traffic laws and regulations that might be different from those that apply to regular license holders. If a Minnesota police officer pulls you over, whether you’re behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle at the time, the results of the traffic stop may affect your ability to retain your commercial license. For example, if you’re convicted of DWI as a CDL holder, your CDL will be suspended or revoked for a minimum of one year for first time offenders and for life after a second DWI conviction.
There are numerous issues that can cause you to undergo CDL suspension. Always be sure you understand the regulations that govern the operation of a commercial vehicle. If you’re unclear about something, it’s better to ask questions rather than assume you know the answer and wind up facing legal problems because you misunderstood an issue.
DWI for Minnesota CDL holders is .04 or more Alcohol Content
One of the most important things to remember as a Minnesota CDL holder is that the measurement of alcohol content for legal operation of a commercial vehicle is much lower than it is for non-commercial license holders. If you are driving a non-commercial vehicle, your alcohol content must be below .08 for legal operation of the vehicle. However, if you’re a CDL holder driving a commercial vehicle, police can arrest you for DWI with a .04 or higher alcohol content.
This can lead to CDL suspension. If police take you into custody for suspected DWI, and you refuse to take a chemical test, you are violating implied consent laws. Violating implied consent laws is also a legitimate cause for suspending your CDL.
Were you involved in a motor vehicle collision?
Your CDL may be at risk if you were involved in a car accident while driving a commercial vehicle. This is especially true if another person suffered injuries or the police arrested you for DWI. You can lose your CDL altogether if you have caused a collision that resulted in a fatality.
In some cases, you might undergo a CDL suspension for a certain amount of time, such as one year, then have the suspension lifted. Remember that an arrest for DWI in Minnesota or elsewhere doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll face charges or conviction. There are often legal options available to help mitigate such circumstances. This is why it’s always best to request legal support as soon as the police have taken you into custody. This is the best way to obtain much-needed guidance and support.