Your CDL with a DWI case


CDL Licenses and your DWI Case

By Ramy Louis, Esq.

Just when you thought that DWI laws in New York City couldn’t be any morecomplicated when you have a regular driver’s license, the rules for those having Commercial Driver’s Licenses, or “CDL” licenses, are even more complex. If you are facing a DWI offense in New York and have a CDL license, you should speak with a knowledgeable DWI lawyer right away and find out how your CDL license may be affected. There are special DWI ramifications depending on the facts of your case. Here is just an outline of how a DWI conviction can impact your CDL.

1. A first conviction for a DWI related offense will result in the CDL being revoked for at least 1 year. VTL § 1193 (2) (b) (5) (i). A CDL holder will not be allowed to receive a CDL “conditional license” or any other CDL restricted use license during this time. However, that person may obtain a regular, non commercial conditional license if he or she is otherwise eligible for it.
2. A second conviction for a DWI related offense committed within 10 years of the first conviction will result in a CDL revocation of at least 10 years.
3. And three convictions committed at any time during the CDL holder’s lifetime will result in permanent, lifetime CDL revocation. These rules apply even if none of the offenses were committed in a commercial motor vehicle.

Did you know that even after 10 year CDL revocation (as a result of second DWI offense) your CDL license is not automatically reinstated? VTL § 1193 (2)(e)(3)(b) says that for second offenders, the DMV can lift your revocation if

a) at least 10 years have passed since you were sentenced;
b) during the 10 year period you have not been convicted of the following crimes:
c) refusing to submit to a chemical test
d) any DWI related offense
e) leaving the scene of an accident
f) any felony involving the use of a car
g) you provide documentation that you do not need alcohol or drug treatment, or that you completed a prescribed court for such treatment.

Many times people with CDLs do not tell their attorneys that they have a Commercial Driver’s License or they sometimes assume wrongly that their CDL will not be affected becausethey were not driving a commercial vehicle at the time they were arrested. That is not the case.These rules are evolving all the time and a knowledgeable New York DWI lawyer stays ahead of them. CDL license holders facing DWI related charges should speak with a lawyer who can aggressively fight their case and also inform them of the possible consequences.