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Commercial Vehicle Or CDL DWI

New Jersey has always been tough on drunk drivers, especially those who drive for a living. If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), the legal Blood Alcohol Content limit is 0.04%, not 0.08%.

As of September 30, 2005, the penalties for driving while intoxicated got a whole lot harsher.

What Are The DWI Penalties For Drivers With A CDL?

If you have a CDL, the laws in New Jersey and across the country have dramatically changed for you.

In order to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Improvement Act, the state legislature has amended the penalties for CDL holders who get a first or subsequent DWI even when a non-commercial vehicle was used during the offense. Since Commercial Drivers Licenses are a creation of the Federal Government, there are separate penalties from the State DWI case.

So, if you are convicted of a first DWI, no matter what vehicle you were driving, you will lose your CDL for one year. This suspension is mandatory and in addition to the penalties you will receive under the DWI statute.  Each state manages reason for this is that the CDL program is federal.

Penalties for A First Offense

  • Basic driver’s license suspension of three months
  • CDL suspension for one year
  • Up to $700 in fines and assessments in court
  • $3000 surcharge to the State over 3 year period
  • At least $3000 surcharge from your insurance company
  • Possible jail time of 30 days
  • 12 hour Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP) course

Penalties for A First Offense (BAC of 0.10% Or Higher)

  • Basic driver’s license suspension 7 months to one year
  • CDL suspension for one year
  • Up to $800 in fines
  • $3000 surcharge to the State over 3 year period
  • At least $3000 surcharge from your insurance company
  • Possible jail time of 30 days
  • 12 hour Intoxicated Driving Program course
  • If above 0.15%, required installation of an interlock device on any car you operate for 6 months to one year

Penalties for A Second Offense

  • Basic driver’s license suspension of two year
  • CDL revoked for life, although application for reinstatement can be made after a period of ten years.
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • $3000 surcharge to the State over 3 year period
  • At least $3000 surcharge from your insurance company
  • Jail time up to 90 days
  • 48 hour IDP course in detainment
  • Community service up to 30 days
  • Installation of interlock device in any car you operate for 1 to 3 years

Penalties for A Third or Greater Offense

  • Basic driver’s license suspension of ten years
  • CDL revoked for life, although application for reinstatement can be made after a period of ten years.
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • $4500 surcharge to the State over 3 year period
  • At least $3000 surcharge from your insurance company
  • Mandatory Jail time of 180, up to 90 days can be served in-patient
  • 12-48 hour IDP course in detainment
  • Installation of interlock device in any car you operate for 1 to 3 years

Being convicted of Refusal to submit to a breath test also carries a mandatory CDL suspension.

Are There Other Penalties?

New Jersey’s courts may assess additional penalties in certain situations.

If you are convicted while transporting hazardous materials, or simply if your vehicle displays a hazardous material placard, your CDL will be suspended for three years.

What If I Was Convicted Out-Of-State?

Out of state convictions also trigger this provision.  If any conviction for DWI or Refusal appears on your driver history, as long as the conviction is based on laws similar to New Jersey’s, those convictions will be considered prior offenses that will enhance your sentence significantly.  .

Contact New Jersey’s Commercial Driver’s License DWI Lawyers

Some drivers may be able to live with a suspended license. But if you hold a Commercial Driver’s License, a conviction threatens the very foundation of your livelihood.

The experienced defense attorneys at Levow DWI Law have proven time and again that DWI / DUI charges related to CDL drivers, can be beaten. You need the most aggressive defense possible to save your license and job.

Contact the lawyers at Levow DWI Law now. We offer a free consultation, and you can begin fighting your charge today. Don’t hesitate to call us.  There’s no obligation.  Call 1-877-735-2288 or fill out our contact form.