DWI and Commercial Drivers in New York

A Kentucky many was charged over the weekend with driving while intoxicated. He was operating a tractor trailer in upstate New York. Police say that after the driver was pulled over and advised that he was under arrest for DWI, he resisted arrest, and a Taser was eventually used to subdue him. No other details were available concerning the incident. It does, however, provide us with the opportunity to discuss the specifics of drunk driving charges as they relate to the operation of a commercial vehicle.

Section 1192 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law provides that, for most drivers, operating a vehicle with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more constitutes a per se violation of the DWI statute. In the case of the driver of a commercial motor vehicle, however, the standards are stricter, and the per se level is a BAC of 0.04 or more.

Even in the case of a first offender, the penalties for driving a commercial vehicle are significant. They include a minimum one year revocation of the driver’s license, along with fines and insurance surcharges. Additional factors, however, can increase the consequences. If, for example, the vehicle being driven requires a hazardous materials placard, the revocation period is three years.

Multiple convictions under the statute likewise increase the penalties. For a second conviction, the revocation is permanent, although it may under certain circumstances be reinstated after ten years. A third conviction eliminates the possibility of reinstatement.

As significant as these legal consequences may be, even a relatively short revocation period, in the case of a person who drives a commercial vehicle for a living, will be disastrous in that a conviction, whether for DWI or even driving while ability impaired (DWAI), will cost the defendant his or her means of making a living.

The financial consequences of a conviction for commercial DWI or DWAI extend well beyond fines and insurance costs. A conviction will threaten your entire way of life. If you have been charged with a drunk or drugged driving offense, contact a New York DWI lawyer today.

George Vomvolakis Law Offices
275 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 682-0700