Having a DWI conviction in and of itself will not bar you from obtaining a commercial drivers’ license (CDL). However, depending on the circumstances you could lose your ability to obtain or keep a CDL following a conviction for drunken driving. If you’re asking can I get a CDL with a DWI, the short answer is Yes.
Ultimately, a DWI could cost you a career as a commercial driver even in cases where your license is not permanently revoked. Given what is at stake with a conviction, it is vital that you fight back against a DWI arrest.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller will aggressively advocate for you during the course of your DWI case. A Minneapolis DWI defense lawyer understands how to obtain an acquittal and is ready to put their experience to work for you. Call now to get started.
Requirements for a CDL in Minnesota
It is helpful to first understand the requirements for obtaining a CDL in Minnesota. While these requirements are fairly extensive, at no point do they refer to a driver having a criminal record. While there is not a specific exclusion for DWI convictions, eligibility for these licenses could be limited in some cases by a past conviction.
The primary requirements for obtaining a Minnesota CDL involve both knowledge tests and road tests. A knowledge test is a written exam that covers state and federal guidelines for commercial trucking. Road tests involve an applicant operating a commercial vehicle in an effort to establish they can drive these large vehicles safely.
It is not enough to pass these tests, however. Applicants must meet other basic requirements including providing proof of citizenship or permanent residency. The aspect of applying for a CDL that directly relates to a DWI conviction involves the requirement for a valid Minnesota driver’s license. To obtain a CDL, a person must first obtain and hold a standard license. This means a person that has lost their right to hold a standard vehicle license may not obtain a CDL.
Minnesota DWI and License Suspension
A DWI conviction can have varying effects on a person’s right to drive. That said, every DWI arrest triggers an administrative procedure that could result in the suspension of driving privileges.
For first-time offenders, a conviction could mean a suspension of driving privileges for up to 90 days. During this time, that person is not eligible to obtain a CDL in the State of Minnesota. This suspension period can increase substantially in other cases. For example, a first-time DWI offender that refuses to submit to a chemical test could lose their driving privileges for up to one year. Longer suspensions are possible for those individuals with multiple offenses. The longer your license suspension, the longer you can expect to wait to qualify for a CDL in Minnesota.
The Impact of DWI on Your Career as a Commercial Driver
It is important to understand that your right to obtain a CDL is not the only factor that could impact your career as a commercial driver following a DWI arrest. Even if you are able to eventually obtain a CDL, a DWI conviction on your record could make it especially difficult to find or maintain employment as a commercial driver.
Many trucking companies have a strict no tolerance approach to drivers with any moving violations on their record. This approach can help keep insurance rates low. For that reason, you could struggle to obtain a job even if a DWI conviction does not bar you from getting your CDL. Fighting back against a DWI arrest and potentially avoiding a conviction entirely is your best chance to protect your future employment prospects.
Talk to an Minneapolis DWI Lawyer About Your Rights Following a DWI Arrest
The best way to protect your future and obtain a CDL is by avoiding a DWI conviction entirely. If you have been arrested for DWI, the potential for avoiding a suspension of your driving privileges remains. Beating these charges could allow you to pursue a career as a commercial driver.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller understand what a CDL could mean for you and your family. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and help you achieve your future goals by fighting back against a conviction in your DWI case. Call right away to schedule your free consultation.