As a professional driver, you know that you need your CDL to work. Losing it is a career killer. You’d lose your current job and find it impossible to get another job in which the same license was required. You’re not just paying fines and spending time in jail. You’re altering the entire course of your life.
You also know that one of the most common ways for a professional driver to lose their license is by getting a DWI. If you try to drive for work too soon after drinking alcohol, and you get pulled over, you could quickly unravel everything you’ve worked for in your life.
But what if you’re in your personal car? Say you don’t have to work for two days. You go out drinking with friends and then get pulled over in your personal sedan, on the way home. Since you weren’t on the job at the time, does this impact your professional license at all?
You can still lose your job if convicted
The fact of the matter is that you could still lose your job if you get convicted. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t driving for work at the time.
A conviction, after all, comes with a license suspension. This begins with your personal license, which you lose at the time, but it also means you aren’t allowed to work as a commercial driver until the suspension ends. If it’s a lengthy suspension, such as a year, then you’re effectively out of work for at least that time.
Once your suspension is lifted, you may then be able to try to secure employment again, but this is often hard for drivers with a record. Employers are not obligated to hire you, of course, and may simply hire a driver without a conviction, who they see as less of a risk. In this sense, that one personal DWI charge can keep on altering your life for years to come.
What can you do?
When the stakes are so high, you need to know all of your legal options. An arrest does not guarantee a conviction. Find out what steps you can take to protect your livelihood and your future.