Truck drivers and other professional drivers operating with a commercial driver's license, or CDL, are held to a stricter standard under Wisconsin's drunk driving laws. In addition, drunk driving convictions can create unique challenges for professional drivers who depend upon driving for their livelihood.
If you have a commercial driver license or CDL, it is important for you to understand the special requirements of your CDL in respect to Wisconsin laws regarding operating under the influence of an intoxicant or OWI.
This article will explain special circumstances and exceptions to well-known OWI protocols, such as field sobriety testing, which you must be aware of if you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in Wisconsin.
Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and Wisconsin Field Sobriety Tests
You may have heard that Wisconsin law does not require drivers to participate in field sobriety testing when pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving. While this is true for drivers operating with a regular driver license, this is not the case if you have a commercial driver license.
If you have a CDL, you are required to submit to field sobriety tests (FSTs) in Wisconsin.
Under the rule of Implied Consent, you are legally required to participate in field sobriety testing as a condition of your commercial driver license if you are pulled over by law enforcement for suspicion of DUI in Wisconsin.
The police in Wisconsin have discretion to decide which field tests to ask you to take, but there are a few which are recognized by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and more commonly requested. These tests include:
As part of field testing, a police officer can request any number or combination of sobriety tests, including a breath test in the field, as well as chemical testing later.
Again, due to requirements of your CDL, you must submit to these tests.
If you rely on your ability to drive for your work and are facing DUI charges in Wisconsin, contact a skilled OWI lawyer right away to help you fight to keep your driving privileges.
Commercial Drivers Are Not Allowed to Drink and Drive in Wisconsin
If you think you have a good understanding of how your body responds to alcohol consumption and can manage your level of intoxication, you should consider an even more conservative approach if you drive professionally on Wisconsin's roadways.
Commercial drivers are not allowed to have a BAC over 0.0% in Wisconsin. While the consequences become more severe once you reach a .04% BAC, you still risk disqualification of your CDL for a length of time, in addition to other penalties.
Stricter PAC for Truck Drivers in Wisconsin
Another common alcohol-related criminal charge which is often charged in tandem with OWI in Wisconsin, is the charge of operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration or PAC.
A blood alcohol concentration or BAC level of 0.08% is the starting measurement at which most regular drivers are charged with PAC. For those operating with a CDL, however, PAC is charged at the much lower blood alcohol level of 0.04%.
Wisconsin General CDL Disqualifications
When a commercial driver is pulled over for suspicion of OWI in Wisconsin, a lot is at stake. In addition to fines and other penalties, a commercial driver's ability to continue to drive professionally is on the line if charged with OWI in Wisconsin.
First Offense OWI and CDL
One year revocation or suspension of your commercial driver's license for a first offense of any alcohol-related offense.
Second Offense OWI and CDL
In Wisconsin, your second OWI conviction will result in the permanent revocation or loss of your CDL.
If you were convicted of OWI and have a CDL, contact an aggressive and proven OWI attorney to explore any option you might have to appeal your case. Your job depends upon it.
FREE 15-Minute Consultation
Attorney Stangl is happy to offer you a FREE 15-minute consultation at no obligation to explore your options as you face OWI charges in Wisconsin. Don't delay in your fight to protect your rights. Click the link below to get started right away.