Commercial drivers in Minnesota play a critical role transporting goods from one place to another. While they play an essential role in the economy, commercial drivers are still subject to consequences if they decide to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
What is the legal blood alcohol content level for commercial drivers?
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, commercial drivers who operate a vehicle that is larger than 10,000 pounds GVW are prohibited from the following:
- Drinking alcohol while operating a large vehicle
- Being under the influence of alcohol while driving
- Having any detected presence of alcohol or concentration of alcohol in their system
- Being in possession of alcohol while on duty or in physical control of a commercial vehicle
Additionally, commercial drivers who possess a CDL cannot operate, drive or be in physical control of a commercial vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration level is at or above 0.04 percent. Those convicted for operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC level at or above this limit are guilty of a misdemeanor.
Does this limit apply to commercial drivers using a personal vehicle?
The commercial BAC level limit of 0.04 only applies to commercial drivers who operate a vehicle that requires the user to possess a CDL. In Minnesota, the DPS states that drivers are not allowed to operate a vehicle with a BAC level at or above 0.08. However, drivers can still be arrested for a DWI if their BAC level is below this legal limit.
What are the consequences of a commercial DWI?
Drivers arrested for operating a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol could have their commercial driving privileges disqualified. Those who refuse to be tested for drugs or alcohol after being arrested for driving a commercial vehicle under the influence will have their commercial driving privileges disqualified for one year.
Drivers guilty of transporting hazardous materials in conjunction with a DWI arrest face three years of disqualification. An additional incident can result in permanent CDL disqualification. Additionally, drivers who possess a commercial class A, B or C license and get arrested for a DWI while passengers are in the vehicle will not be able to obtain an A, B or C work period during the license revocation period.
Contact an attorney
The consequences for driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol in Minnesota are severe, and they can have a significant impact on the careers and finances of commercial drivers. Those facing penalties due to a commercial DWI arrest should seek the guidance of an attorney.