Commercial DWI in North Carolina

Car keys next to beer bottle caps and glasses of beers

From semi-trucks to buses, commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders are an integral part of our country, whether they are transporting essential goods or people. Since commercial vehicles require certain qualifications to operate, these drivers are held to a higher standard compared to drivers of non-commercial vehicles, which means a DWI can result in serious criminal and administrative penalties.

For example, the blood alcohol content (BAC) level threshold for motorist operating a commercial vehicle is .04 percent, instead of .08 percent for non-commercial vehicles. Although a CDL holder may only get a DWI while driving in his/her private vehicle with a BAC of at least .08 percent, a conviction can lead to penalties administered against his/her license.

A conviction for a first-time commercial DWI carries a CDL suspension for up to one year, along with an automatic 30-day suspension upon arrest. If a commercial driver was transporting hazardous materials at the time of an arrest, then the suspension period will last up to three years. A second conviction after being previously convicted of a DWI, driving on a suspended license, or hit and run could lead to a permanent CDL suspension.

If a commercial driver’s BAC is below .04 percent, he/she may still be charged with operating a commercial vehicle after consuming alcohol. A first offense can lead to CDL suspension for 10 days, while a second offense within seven years can result in a one-year suspension.

Remember, a conviction can also result in other criminal penalties, including a permanent criminal record, fines, and perhaps jail time. Furthermore, a conviction could ultimately in job termination.

If you are commercial driver who is facing DWI charges in Charlotte, let Jetton & Meredith, PLLC protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. We understand how losing your career can make it extremely difficult to support yourself and your family, which is why our experienced legal team can help you avoid serious criminal penalties.

Contact us today at (704) 931-5535 for more information about commercial DWI in North Carolina.