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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 became harsher.

What Are The DWI Penalties For Drivers With A CDL?

In order to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Improvement Act, the New Jersey state legislature 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 imposed on CDL drivers convicted of DWI in addition to the penalties imposed from the State.

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 in addition to the penalties you will receive under the DWI statute.

Penalties for A First Offense

  • In addition to the penalties imposed by the state on the driver’s basic driving privileges and the court mandate to install an ignition interlock device in the car he/she drives (link to the Consequences of a DWI page);
  • CDL suspension for one year;
  • Up to $800 in fines and assessments in court;
  • $3000 surcharge to the State over 3 year period;
  • A range of $3,000 to more than $10,000 in surcharges from your insurance company over three years;
  • Possible jail time of up to 30 days;
  • 12 – 48-hours Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP) course.

Penalties for A Second Offense

  • Basic driver’s license suspension of 1 to 2 years with basic driving privileges restored when you show proof of installation of an ignition interlock device in the car you intend to drive. You can only drive a vehicle that has an ignition interlock installed for 2 to 4 years following your suspension ( link to 2nd offense page);
  • 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;
  • A range of $3,000 to more than $10,000 in surcharges from your insurance company over three years;
  • Jail time 2 to 90 days;
  • 48-hour IDP course in detainment;
  • Community service 30 days.

Penalties for A Third or Greater Offense

  • Basic driver’s license suspension of 8 years with basic driving privileges restored when you show proof of installation of an ignition interlock device in the car you intend to drive. You can only drive a vehicle that has an ignition interlock installed for 2 to 4 years following your suspension (link to 3rd offense page);
  • CDL revoked for life, although application for reinstatement can be made after a period of ten years;
  • Up to $1,400 in fines;
  • $4500 surcharge to the State over 3 year period;
  • At least $3000 to more than $10,000 surcharge from your insurance company over three years;
  • Mandatory Jail time of 180, up to 90 days can be served in-patient;
  • 12 – 48-hour IDP course.

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.

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 DUI 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 we will get started on your defense  immediately. Please do not hesitate to call us. There is no obligation.  Call 1-877-789-7552 or fill out our contact form today.