The world of the CDL holder is vastly different than a noncommercial driver.
In 1986, Congress passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA)
requiring states to adopt federally mandated testing and licensing standards
and to impose consistent penalties on commercial vehicle drivers who violate
traffic safety laws. The rules born from these standards penalize CDL
holders for traffic violations that occur not only in commercial vehicles
but in noncommercial vehicles as well. They can also impact a person's
noncommercial license and their ability to drive outside of the commercial
How can my CDL license be penalized?
For example, if a noncommercial driver is arrested for DWI and refuses
to give a breath sample in St. Louis County, Jefferson County or St. Charles
County, it may be possible to avoid a one year revocation of the person's
noncommercial license. However,
if a CDL holder is arrested and charged with DWI while operating his
privately owned noncommercial vehicle and refused to give a breath sample, not only will the CDL holder's
privilege to drive a commercial vehicle be denied for one year, but the
CDL holder may not be able to avoid their noncommercial license from being
revoked for one year as well. Even though the DWI arrest occurred in a
noncommercial privately owned vehicle, the rules punish the CDL holder
much more harshly than a noncommercial licensed driver.
When considering whether or not to hire a particular lawyer to represent
you in a case where a CDL license is at issue, it is important to ensure
that the lawyer possesses a unique body of knowledge that goes beyond
the ordinary civil and criminal penalties for noncommercial traffic violations.
If you have a CDL and have been charged with a DWI in Missouri,
contact the DWI attorneys at Millikan Wright, LLC for a free consultation. Your commercial and noncommercial license could be at stake.