NY DWI For Commercial Drivers–Important Facts To Know

Commercial operators in New York such as truck drivers face much more serious consequences when facing any New York drunk driving charge than do non-commercial drivers.

First, the level of intoxication which can result in a New York driving while ability impaired charge, the lowest drunk driving charge in New York, is less for a commercial operator–.04 BAC– (Blood alcohol content) than it is for a non-commercial driver, who must have at least a .05 BAC to be charged with a DWAI. This is absolutely critical, as a commercial driver who is operating a motor vehicle with .04 BAC faces a mandatory one year revocation of his or her driver’s license when convicted or pleading guilty to any drunk driving violation whatsoever, even a DWAI. Thus, a drunk driving charge can be the end of a truck driver’s employment. When comparing this to the situation of a non commercial driver, who on a first conviction of a DWAI, will only be assessed a 90 day suspension of his or her driver’s license, it is clear that New York State has no tolerance for drunk driving charges by commercial operators.

On a second DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DWAI charge, if the commercial driver is convicted of any New York DWI charge, the commercial driver is now subject to a “permanent revocation” of his or her CDL, meaning that the driver must now wait for at least 10 years to apply for a new commercial license! Conversely, on a second DWI conviction for a non-commercial driver, as long as there is no personal injury or an aggravated DWI involved, the non-commercial driver could potentially only have his or her license revoked for 6 months or a year.

On a third DWI charge, or if there is a combination of three DWI charges and/or New York chemical test refusals, there is a mandatory license revocation with no chance of ever getting the license reinstated.

One other vital fact for commercial drivers to know is that it does not matter what type of vehicle you are driving when you get the drunk driving charge, so that even if you are going out for dinner with your spouse and have a few two many cold ones, it has the same effect as if you were operating the tractor-trailer.


If you are charged with a New York DWI or any drunk driving charge in New York, contact The Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel online or toll free at 888-761-7633 for a free consultation with an aggressive, experienced lawyer who will fight to preserve your legal rights and options every step of the way from arraignment through trial, if necessary.