Commercial Driver’s License Suspension Defense

The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) states that a person who holds a commercial driver license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP) could have their CDL or CLP disqualified if they are convicted of specific offenses. Texas Transportation Code § 522.081 establishes some violations that can lead to a disqualification of a CDL or CLP.

One of the most common causes of CDL disqualifications is arrests for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or other alcohol-related violations. Commercial drivers can have their licenses disqualified for one year in some cases, even when they are arrested for drunk driving while operating passenger vehicles.

When you are facing any possible disqualification of your CDL because of a DWI or other alcohol-related arrest, do not wait to find legal representation. The process of reinstatement for a CDL can be a very lengthy and confusing journey, but you do not have to deal with everything by yourself.

Dallas CDL Disqualification Lawyer

Are you a commercial driver in the greater Dallas area who is concerned about your CDL possibly being disqualified because of a recent DWI arrest? Make sure that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for help achieving the most favorable possible outcome in your case.

The Law Office Of RJ Harber represents clients in Dallas as well as Fort Worth, Irving, Addison, Grapevine, McKinney, Richardson, Plano, Denton, The Colony, Euless, Garland, Frisco, Grand Prairie, and many other nearby communities. Call (214) 389-1189 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.

Implied Consent Laws in Texas

Texas Transportation Code § 522.102(a) is the state implied consent law for commercial drivers which provides that a person who drives a commercial motor vehicle is deemed to have consented to the taking of one or more specimens of their breath, blood, or urine to determine their blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) or the presence of a controlled substance.

Under Texas Transportation Code § 522.102(b), a police officer can take a specimen after stopping or detaining a person driving a commercial motor vehicle when they have probable cause to believe that the person was driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b)(2) establishes that a person who holds a CDL or CLP is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year on a first conviction for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, including DWI, DWI with child passenger, and intoxication assault.

Under Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b)(4), a person who holds a CDL or CLP is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a BAC of 0.04 or more or a controlled substance being present in the person’s body while operating a commercial motor vehicle or a BAC of 0.08 or more while operating a motor vehicle other than a commercial motor vehicle.

Dallas CDL License Suspension for Refusal

Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b)(3) also provides that a person who holds a CDL or CLP is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year for refusing to submit to a test to determine their BAC or the presence of a controlled substance while operating a motor vehicle. Refusal to consent to a BAC test results in an administrative license suspension that is entirely separate from any criminal case.

Texas Transportation Code § 522.101(b) further provides that a person who refuses to submit to an alcohol test required under the state implied consent law would be placed out of service for 24 hours. Texas Transportation Code § 724.041 gives a commercial driver 15 days to request a hearing, which will stay the suspension or denial until the date of the final decision of the administrative law judge that holds the hearing.

Effect of BAC Levels on Dallas CDL Disqualification

Again, Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b)(4) provides for CDL or CLP disqualification when a driver has a BAC of 0.04, only half the legal limit for traditional drivers. In other words, it is entirely possible for a driver to face disqualification still even when they are not charged with or convicted of DWI.

A violation of Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b)(2) involving the first conviction for DWI, DWI with a child passenger, or intoxication assault will result in a three-year disqualification when a driver was operating a commercial motor vehicle placarded for hazardous materials. Two or more convictions for offenses specified in Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b)(2) will result in disqualification for life.

Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(d)(3) also establishes a lifetime suspension when a driver is convicted of any combination of two or more of a conviction for offenses specified in Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b)(2), refusing to submit to a test to determine BAC or the presence of a controlled substance while operating a motor vehicle, and analysis of blood, breath, or urine identifying that the driver had a BAC of 0.04 or more or a controlled substance was present in their body while operating a commercial motor vehicle or had a BAC of 0.08 or more while operating a motor vehicle other than a commercial motor vehicle.

CDL Disqualifications for Other Crimes in Dallas

Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b)(2) also allows for a CDL or CLP to be disqualified for one year if a driver is convicted of:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident;
  • Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony (other than a felony described by Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(d)(2);
  • Causing the death of another person through negligent or criminal operation of a motor vehicle; or
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle while their CDL or CLP is revoked, suspended, or canceled, or while the person is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(d)(2) states that a driver can have their CDL disqualified for life if they are convicted of a felony involving the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance.

Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(d)(4) further states that a driver can also be disqualified for life when they use a motor vehicle in the commission of an offense under Title 8 U.S. Code § 1324 involving the transportation, concealment, or harboring of an alien.

CDL Reinstatement in Texas

Texas Transportation Code § 522.082(a) provides for a person disqualified for life under Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(d)(1) to apply for reinstatement of their CDL when authorized under federal law. Under Texas Transportation Code § 522.082(b), a person is not eligible for reinstatement unless they have been disqualified for a minimum of 10 years and they meet all conditions for reinstatement.

Texas Transportation Code § 522.082(c) establishes that when a reinstated driver is subsequently convicted of another disqualifying offense specified by Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b), they will be permanently disqualified and ineligible for reinstatement.

Contact a Dallas CDL Revocation Attorney

If you were arrested for DWI or any other criminal offense that might place your CDL in jeopardy, act quickly to protect your ability to drive. Contact The Law Office Of RJ Harber right away.

RJ Harber has experience on both sides of the aisle as a former prosecutor in Tarrant County, and he was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers. He can discuss your rights when you call (214) 389-1189 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.