DWI Laws for Those Who have Commercial Driving License

Drunk driving is a serious crime and the different states in the US have already adopted tough regulations for the same. However, for commercial vehicle drivers, DWI laws are much more stringent. Therefore, if you have a commercial driving license (CDL), you need to be well aware of those laws. If you do not know how the different regulations apply to your case, you may get unpleasant surprises while you are driving on road.

BAC Level

BAC stands for Blood Alcohol concentration. For everybody else, the maximum BAC limit that is legally allowed is 0.08, but it is only 0.04% for people driving with CDL.

Driving a Personal Car with Commercial License

It is also important for you to keep in mind that just because you have CDL, you will automatically be subject to the DWI laws applicable to commercial drivers. If you are driving a personal vehicle while carrying the CDL with you, the normal laws will apply in case you are caught under the charges of DWI violation. The CDL specific laws apply only in cases where you are driving a commercial vehicle. Some people might be confused by this when driving a personal vehicle for commercial purposes, such as when operating as a Lyft driver. You should seek the counsel of a Lyft Accident Attorney for a better understanding of your case, and to establish a more effective defense for yourself.


Though the typical punishments for DWI offenders are similar in all cases that may include mandatory substance abuse programs, jail time, and monetary fines, drivers with commercial driving license are usually offered more severe sentences. The severity keeps on increasing if you are found guilty of multiple time offences.

License Suspension

States usually suspend the license of the driver for at least one year if it is a first time offence. However, if it is a second or a third time conviction, it usually results in permanent revocation of your commercial driving license. It is important to note that DWI laws do not offer such harsh penalties to other drivers when they are caught under charges of driving while intoxicated; their license get suspended only for a very limited period of time even if they are convicted for third time. Permanent revocation of license happens only in very rare cases with other drivers while it is common for those driving commercial vehicles with CDL.

No Temporary Driving Privileges

In most states, DWI offenders usually get temporary driving privileges while their license is suspended, such as working permits so that they can go to work and look after their family. However, these privileges are not available for drivers with commercial driving license. When a DWI charge is placed against them, it becomes illegal for them to drive a vehicle. There can still be certain exceptions though. For example, drivers in a non-professional capacity may get some temporary privileges.

Overall, DWI laws for commercial drivers work very differently and are highly stringent. However, when you know how the laws apply in such cases, you can easily prevent yourself from falling into deep troubles.