Minnesota has some of the strictest DWI laws in the country. The state’s DWI law dictates a sentence ranging from fines to jail time and license revocations. The punishment for a drunk driving charge can be severe, and it may feel as though all of the evidence is stacked against you. At Sheridan & Dulas, P.A., we fight to help clients preserve their commercial driving privileges and protect their livelihoods.
Drunk Driving with and your CDL
A motorist may lose a class A, B, or C commercial driver’s license if convicted of a DWI in Minnesota. The state holds commercial motor vehicle operators to different legal standards than other drivers. Due to this special status, people with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) may face more punitive measures if arrested for driving while drunk, even if they are driving a non-commercial vehicle at the time.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, there are three classes of a CDL:
- Class A—held by drivers of vehicles towing over 10,000 pounds GVWR with a total combined (truck and trailer) weight of over 26,000 pounds.
- Class B—for single unit vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds GVWR.
- Class C—for a single-unit vehicle weighing below 26,000 pounds GVWR and carrying hazardous materials or passengers for hire.
Under Minnesota state laws, a CDL holder may be stripped of their driver’s license not only for a DWI conviction but even based only on a police officer’s accusation of driving while impaired. The driver’s license may be revoked for even longer if the driver is found to be transporting hazardous materials.
It’s critical to defend against the criminal charge, and also to initiate the challenge to the driver’s license revocation under the Implied Consent Law. Challenging only one will not assist a commercial driver at all. A challenge to the revocation must be initiated within 60 days. Do not wait!
Further complicating a CDL holder’s case is the fact that prosecutors believe they cannot negotiate with a CDL holder without violating federal “anti-masking” laws. While this narrow view of the anti-masking provisions is generally wrong, it is the position routinely taken by both courts and prosecutors. This means that the only way for a CDL holder to prevent the devastating consequences of a DWI conviction is through fighting. Settling is not an option for you.
Ramifications of DWI Convictions
A class A, B, or C commercial drivers license holder loses their license for a minimum of one year if convicted of a DWI. And while the BAC limit in Minnesota is 0.08 for non-commercial operations, that limit is only 0.04 if driving a commercial vehicle. You will permanently lose your CDL if convicted of DUI for a second time.
As a commercial driver relying on your CDL for a living, it may be financially devastating if your license is revoked for a year. Many commercial drivers have families they support, and having the main income artery dried up may negatively affect every family member.
Being convicted of DWI may also affect your chances of securing a job in the future, considering that many trucking companies only hire drivers with zero moving violations. This not only improves service delivery and brand reputation but also helps to cut insurance costs.
At Sheridan & Dulas, P.A., we won’t just hold your hand and plead you guilty. We will fight for you in court and do everything in our power to protect you and your CDL.
Contact a DUI attorney at Sheridan & Dulas, P.A. Today
At Sheridan & Dulas, P.A., nationally recognized attorneys Jeffrey Sheridan and Randall Kins have vast experience handling various DWI cases involving commercial driver’s licenses. We will help you fight off any restrictions that may impact your earning potential or future career prospects. Please get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.