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Commercial DUI Lawyer in Houston, TX

A Brief Summary of the Following Page

  • Elevated Standards: Commercial drivers in Houston are subject to strict DUI regulations, facing serious consequences with a BAC of 0.04% or higher when operating commercial vehicles, reflecting stricter standards than those for personal vehicle drivers.
  • Severe Penalties: DUI convictions can result in CDL disqualification for periods ranging from one year to life, especially in cases involving hazardous materials transportation or refusing chemical tests, with possibilities for even harsher penalties under certain circumstances.
  • Implied Consent Law: Texas law mandates commercial drivers to comply with breathalyzer tests under implied consent laws, where refusal leads to automatic CDL suspension, highlighting the legal obligations and consequences of non-compliance.
  • Legal Defense Strategies: Mary E. Conn & Associates provides specialized defense for commercial drivers facing DUI charges, employing tactics to challenge procedural errors and test inaccuracies, aiming to preserve clients’ careers and licenses.
  • Schedule a free consultation today by completing a contact form or calling (713) 357-4190.

Commercial vehicle operators in Houston encounter increased scrutiny and are subject to strict regulations, affecting those holding commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). Convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol may result in the loss of a CDL if not effectively addressed, impacting career opportunities and overall well-being for commercial drivers.

If you face DUI charges as a commercial vehicle operator, talk to a commercial DUI lawyer at Mary E. Conn & Associates, who may help you defend against your charges and maintain your CDL. Call our Houston office at (713) 357-4190 as soon as possible to speak with our skilled legal team about your situation.

Potential Impact of a DUI on a Commercial Driver in Houston

Commercial drivers facing a DUI conviction in Houston may confront criminal and administrative penalties, potentially leading to suspension or loss of their CDL.

Under Texas law, a DUI charge can arise from any of the following actions:

  • Driving a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04% or above.
  • Operating a personal vehicle with a 0.08% or higher BAC.
  • Driving any vehicle while impaired by drugs, controlled substances, or alcohol.

While all drivers must maintain a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or lower, commercial drivers are held to an elevated standard according to the Texas Transportation Code, requiring their BAC to remain at 0.04% or lower.

What Are the Consequences of a Commercial DUI Conviction? 

The consequences for commercial drivers facing DUI charges are severe, potentially leading to jail time, hefty fines, license suspension, and CDL disqualification. The Texas Transportation Code outlines the penalties for a DUI for commercial drivers, establishing minimum consequences. However, specific circumstances, such as fleeing the scene or transporting hazardous materials during a DUI, can elevate penalties, potentially leading to felony charges and heightened consequences.

Potential penalties may include the following:

  • First Offense: Minimum 1-year CDL disqualification
  • Second and Subsequent Offenses: CDL disqualification for up to life
  • Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test: Minimum 1-year CDL disqualification
  • Fleeing the Scene of an Accident: Minimum 1-year CDL disqualification

For those operating commercial vehicles transporting hazardous materials, the penalties include:

  • First Offense: Minimum 3-year CDL disqualification
  • Second and Subsequent Offenses: CDL disqualification for up to life
  • Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test: Minimum 3-year disqualification
  • Fleeing the Scene of an Accident: Minimum 1-year CDL disqualification

Reinstating a permanently disqualified CDL may be pursued after a minimum of 10 years, though the process can be challenging. A seasoned Houston commercial DUI lawyer can review your case and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Effects of Refusing a Breath Test for Commercial Drivers

When a law enforcement officer suspects that a commercial driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Texas’s implied consent laws allow them to administer a breathalyzer test. Refusal to undergo this breath test, which can be requested without a warrant, automatically suspends a driver’s CDL.

A recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court clarified that refusing a blood test without a search warrant cannot result in criminal penalties. However, it’s important to note that the implied consent law applies explicitly to breath tests for commercial drivers.

Defending Commercial Drivers Against DUI Allegations in Houston

Successfully challenging a DUI as a commercial driver in Houston doesn’t necessarily mean the end of a career or a permanent loss of a license. Mary E. Conn & Associates’ seasoned commercial DUI defense lawyers utilize various strategies to prove innocence and challenge the prosecution. These may include exposing breaches in the procedure by law enforcement during the DUI arrest and questioning the accuracy of breath or blood test results.

Consulting an assertive DUI lawyer is crucial to defending freedom and livelihood. Mary E. Conn & Associates investigates each case meticulously, identifying constitutional violations or errors that can strengthen the legal defense. The most favorable outcome is possible with personalized strategies and a knowledgeable commercial DUI defense lawyer.

How Can a Houston Commercial DUI Lawyer Help Get Your CDL Back?

If you didn’t refuse a breath test following a commercial DUI arrest, you can challenge the CDL suspension by requesting an Administrative License Revocation case. Opting for a hearing allows you to present your case before an administrative law judge, making your plea for retaining your CDL.

The window for requesting this hearing is brief, so acting quickly is imperative. You must initiate this process within 15 days of your arrest, forfeiting your right to appeal the CDL suspension if you miss this deadline. Even if the judge upholds the suspension, a secondary appeal opportunity remains. To utilize this, drivers must submit a notice of intent to appeal within 30 days of the judge’s decision.

If you intend to contest your suspension, seeking advice from a commercial DUI attorney is strongly encouraged. The administrative procedures can be complex, and the guidance of a knowledgeable defense attorney is often crucial in determining whether you retain or lose your commercial driver’s license.

Get Help from an Experienced Commercial DUI Lawyer in Houston Today

A DUI arrest in Houston can have significant repercussions on your life, especially if you hold a commercial driver’s license. Don’t face this challenge alone. An experienced Houston commercial DUI defense lawyer at Mary E. Conn & Associates is ready to help you combat charges and move forward without a criminal record or loss of license.

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI on a CDL in Houston, do not delay contacting Mary E. Conn & Associates to learn your legal rights and what defense methods are available. With a legacy dating back to 1985, our legal team has extensive experience advising commercial drivers in Houston and recognizes a CDL’s pivotal role in your career. Schedule a free consultation today by completing a contact form or calling (713) 357-4190.

CALL US TODAY 713-357-4190