Everyone knows the risks of being charged with a DUI or DWI—the loss of a license, fines, even possible jail time. But, if you also drive a truck or other commercial vehicle for a living, your livelihood is at risk. As important as it is for everyone who is charged with a DUI to retain an experienced attorney, it is even more important if you drive for a living.
Have a CDL in MN? Not if You Have a DUI!
In Minnesota, you can lose your commercial or standard driver’s license or have your license suspended for major and minor offenses, including drug and alcohol related offenses. In fact, the blood-alcohol level at which the state can take away your CDL license is lower than what the legal requirement is for the state to charge you with a DUI.
If you have a blood-alcohol level of .04 or you refuse to take a breath or blood test, the state can suspend or revoke your license. Suspensions can last from one to 10 years or more depending on the severity of the violation and whether it is the first or a subsequent violation.
Consequences of a DUI in Minnesota
If you face a DUI charge, you could have the following consequences:
- Temporary or permanent loss of your driver’s license, both your CDL and the right to drive your family car
- Time in jail
- Steep fines on both licenses
- Negative impact on your credit rating
- Negative impact on your vehicle and home insurance premiums, or even life insurance premiums
- Mandatory participation in, and completion of intensive programs
- Invasive supervision and reporting requirements
- Loss of your employment
- Forfeiture of your car or truck
There Is a Chance You Can Keep Driving, However
Your goal after being stopped for a DUI or DWI is to hire an attorney immediately. Your attorney can help you minimize the effects of a DUI charge. It is even possible that you may be able to keep working while your case is pending.
Because of what are known as “implied consent” laws in Minnesota, you will have to submit to sobriety testing if an officer stops you on suspicion of drunk driving. If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the state can revoke it immediately, even if you have not yet been convicted. A few counties, including Hennepin and Ramsey, allow you to make a case for having your CDL reinstated while your DUI case is pending in court.
The Right Lawyer Can Help You Keep Your License
The DUI charges affect one person differently than another. But for people who drive for a living, losing their licenses has a ripple effect on everything else in their lives. While some people may retain the right to drive to and from their jobs, CDL drivers can’t do that.
Your work is driving. It’s unlikely that your boss or customers are going to tell you that you can wait six or 12 months to deliver their goods. Instead, they will move on to another company or hire another driver. As the holder of a CDL license, it is more important than ever for you to keep your license.
It’s Important to Contact an Attorney Quickly
Contact us to discuss your DUI defense options as soon as possible. We are experienced DUI defense attorneys and will pursue all legal options to keep you working and driving.