Bryan Commercial DWI Lawyer

As a commercial driver, the stakes are higher for a driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrest, considering the stringent federal laws and regulations governing the trucking industry. A commercial DWI conviction can have severe repercussions, including hefty fines, suspension or revocation of your commercial driver's license (CDL), potential imprisonment, and adverse effects on your employment and professional reputation. This is where hiring a skilled Bryan commercial DWI lawyer from the Law Office of Shane Phelps becomes essential.

Our legal team is equipped to handle the intricacies of commercial DWI cases. These cases involve navigating not only Texas state laws but also complex federal regulations, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and drug and alcohol testing requirements mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

These regulations add layers of complexity to commercial DWI cases, underscoring the importance of having a knowledgeable legal advocate who can effectively navigate these challenges on your behalf.

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Why Choose the Law Office of Shane Phelps for a Commercial DWI Charge?

Bryan Commercial DWI Lawyers at the Law Office of Shane Phelps

If you hold a CDL and are charged with commercial DWI or drunk driving in Bryan, TX, it is imperative to obtain legal representation from a qualified criminal defense lawyer to avoid giving up your commercial license. At Shane Phelps Law, we are experienced in fighting a wide variety of DWI cases.

With more than three decades of experience, our Bryan commercial DWI lawyer has a thorough understanding of Texas and federal commercial driving laws to help you navigate through the complexities of the legal system and the courtroom. Call us today at 979-773-7028 to schedule a free consultation.

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Our Law Office in Bryan, Texas

The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C., is located at 400 N. Washington Avenue, Bryan, TX 77803. We are in the heart of Bryan, at the corner of E. 23rd Street. Contact us for a free consultation.

Texas DWI Laws

In Texas, DWI (or DUI) refers to driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. It also applies to driving while under the influence of drugs. It is illegal for people younger than age 21 to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. Texas DWI laws are spelled out in the Penal Code, Title 10, Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, and Morals, chapter 49, Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverage offenses.

Texas CDL DWI Laws

Individuals who hold commercial driver’s licenses and operate commercial vehicles are held to a higher legal standard because of the size of their vehicles and their cargo, whether it is people or materials. A person who has a CDL and has a BAC of 0.04% or more in Texas is legally considered a drunk driver and may be arrested for a DWI.

How is a DWI Case Different for a Commercial Driver vs. a Non-Commercial Driver?

Commercial Driver Alcohol Breath Test

Overall, the stakes are higher in commercial DWI cases due to the unique responsibilities and regulatory framework governing commercial vehicle operations. Commercial drivers are held to higher legal standards due to the increased responsibility associated with operating commercial vehicles.

The consequences of a DWI conviction for a commercial driver can be more severe than for a non-commercial driver. CDL holders may face stricter penalties, including longer license suspensions or revocations, which can directly impact their ability to work and earn a living.

Commercial drivers are also subject to additional regulatory requirements and scrutiny compared to non-commercial drivers. This includes compliance with federal and state regulations governing commercial vehicle operation, drug and alcohol testing requirements, and maintenance of a clean driving record. A DWI conviction can result in regulatory penalties in addition to criminal consequences.

For commercial drivers, a DWI conviction can tarnish their professional reputation and credibility within their industry. This can have long-term consequences for their career advancement opportunities and may impact their relationships with employers, colleagues, and clients.

Commercial drivers facing DWI charges in Texas should seek an experienced Bryan commercial DWI lawyer to navigate the complexities of the legal system and protect their rights and livelihoods.

Federal Regulations Around Commercial DWI Cases

DUI Defense Lawyers Association - Charter Member Badge

The trucking industry is heavily regulated by various federal laws and regulations, especially concerning commercial DWI arrests. This is why it is particularly important to work with a seasoned commercial DWI attorney. Some key federal laws and regulations governing the trucking industry concerning commercial DWI arrests include:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs): These regulations, administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), set forth safety standards and requirements for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and their drivers. FMCSRs address various aspects of CMV operation, including driver qualifications, hours of service, vehicle maintenance, and drug and alcohol testing procedures.
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations: FMCSA regulations mandate drug and alcohol testing programs for commercial drivers and motor carriers. These regulations require pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, and return-to-duty drug and alcohol testing for CDL holders. Drivers who test positive for drugs or alcohol or refuse to undergo testing may face suspension or revocation of their CDL and other penalties.
  • Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Requirements: The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 established minimum standards for the issuance of CDLs and requires states to comply with these standards when issuing CDLs. A DWI conviction, whether in a commercial or personal vehicle, can result in CDL disqualification under federal regulations.
  • Safety Fitness Determination (SFD): FMCSA regulations govern the agency's process for evaluating motor carriers' safety performance and fitness to operate. A history of DWI violations or other serious safety infractions can negatively impact a motor carrier's safety rating and ability to continue operating in the industry.
  • Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Program: The CSA program is an FMCSA initiative that identifies and addresses motor carrier safety violations through a data-driven approach. DWI violations can affect a motor carrier's CSA scores, which may lead to increased scrutiny, enforcement actions, or intervention by regulatory authorities.
  • Cross-Border Trucking Regulations: For trucking operations that involve cross-border travel between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, additional regulations may apply, including international agreements, customs requirements, and enforcement protocols. DWI convictions can impact a driver's eligibility to operate in cross-border trucking operations.

Compliance with these regulations is essential for both commercial drivers and motor carriers to maintain their eligibility to operate and avoid penalties. A truck driver or other commercial vehicle operator facing DWI charges in Texas should not try to navigate a DWI arrest alone.

The Bryan commercial DWI attorneys at Shane Phelps Law are very familiar with federal regulations that govern the trucking industry. They can navigate these complex claims to ensure you receive fair representation to protect your livelihood and professional reputation.

What Happens if You Get a DWI with a CDL in Texas?

Lead Attorney Shane Phelps with Attorney Reilly Garrett

Overall, the consequences of a CDL DWI conviction extend far beyond the initial legal penalties and can have a profound impact on various aspects of your life, including your finances, employment prospects, and personal freedom. These may include:

  • Fines: CDL holders convicted of DWI in Texas face substantial fines. These fines can vary depending on factors such as the driver's BAC at the time of arrest, any prior DWI convictions, and other aggravating circumstances. Fines can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
  • License Suspension or Revocation: A CDL DWI conviction often results in the suspension or revocation of the driver's commercial driver's license. Losing your CDL can directly impact your ability to work and earn a livelihood, as you may be unable to operate commercial vehicles for a certain period.
  • Mandatory Alcohol Education Programs: In addition to fines and license penalties, individuals convicted of CDL DWI may be required to attend mandatory alcohol education programs or treatment programs. These programs may be required as a condition of probation or license reinstatement.
  • Potential Imprisonment: A CDL DWI conviction can also result in potential imprisonment, especially for repeat offenders or cases involving aggravating factors such as accidents causing injury or death.
  • Impact on Employment: Many employers, particularly in industries that rely on safe driving, have strict policies against hiring individuals with DWI convictions on their records. This can make it challenging for CDL holders to find work in their field and may result in loss of income and career opportunities.
  • Increased Insurance Premiums: CDL DWI convictions can lead to significantly higher insurance premiums or even difficulty obtaining insurance coverage altogether.

CDL Suspensions for DUI

If a commercial driver commits a serious violation, his or her CDL may be suspended for a certain period, depending on the severity of the violation. Not having your CDL can make it difficult to earn a living and pay your bills since your job requires you to have authorization to operate a commercial vehicle.

The following are the disqualification periods and the associated criminal charges:

Disqualification PeriodConviction
60 daysTwo serious traffic offenses – such as reckless driving, excessive speeding, tailgating, and improper lane changes – within three years
60 days for first offense, 120 days for second offense within three years, at least one year for third offense within three yearsRailroad-highway grade crossings
120 daysThree serious traffic within three years
One yearDrunk driving, commission of a felony, leaving the scene of an accident
Three yearsDrunk driving, commission of a felony while operating a commercial vehicle placarded for hazardous materials, leaving the scene of an accident
LifetimeUsing a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony

Contact Bryan, Texas, Lawyers at the Law Offices of Shane Phelps

At the Law Office of Shane Phelps, we understand the gravity of commercial DWI charges and the potential impact they can have on your livelihood and future. Our dedicated legal team is committed to providing personalized and strategic representation, working tirelessly to protect your rights and mitigate the consequences of a commercial DWI conviction.

With our experience and track record of success in handling complex DWI cases, you can trust us to advocate vigorously for your best interests and pursue the most favorable outcome possible. When facing commercial DWI charges in Bryan, Texas, don't take chances with your future.

Contact the Shane Phelps Law today to schedule a consultation and start building your defense. Call us today at 979-773-7028 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our Bryan DWI defense attorney. We are available 24/7 to assist you.

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