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Do you lose your CDL if you get a DWI in your private car?

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2023 | DWI Defense |

As a commercial driver, you have more to lose than the average person if you get an unjust DWI conviction. A criminal record is something everyone wants to avoid, but, as a transport worker, a DWI conviction in New Jersey could threaten your livelihood.

With a DWI, it is possible that you could lose your CDL for a significant duration. This is true even if you get the conviction for driving a passenger vehicle.

CMV vs. non-CMV offenses

There are very few differences when it comes to convictions you get for commercial vehicles versus passenger vehicles. For the first offense, both require suspension of your CDL for one year. The second offense requires suspension for life. Refusal to take a chemical test could result in the same consequences that you would have if you got a DWI conviction.

These convictions could also have consequences for your standard driving license. However, the suspension might be shorter for your traditional license than it is for your CDL.

Other rules for CMV DWI offenses

There are some key differences between driving a passenger vehicle and driving a commercial vehicle when it comes to DWI. One notable difference is the blood alcohol limit.

As a commercial driver, your blood alcohol limit is much lower than it is as a standard driver. This could result in a situation in which it would be legal for you to operate a standard vehicle but not a commercial vehicle. Other rules apply to specific types of commercial activities, such as hazmat transport.

Generally speaking, New Jersey has a two-strike policy when it comes to DWI convictions or refusals to test. The second could result in lifetime CDL suspension. Your earliest actions during your first arrest could have lifelong consequences.