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CDL DWI


North Carolina CDL DWI Laws (Serving in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point)

If you drive a big truck in North Carolina a DWI can cost you your career. You move America and people depend on you to keep America moving. If you are facing the charge of DWI with a Commercial Driver’s License, you need an attorney that you can depend on. Just the charge of CDL DWI can revoke your Commercial Driver’s License for the period of one year before even going to Court. At LAWSMITH, The Law Offices of J. Scott Smith, PLLC, we have the knowledge and experience needed when dealing with Driving While Impaired cases involving Commercial Driver’s Licenses.

North Carolina CDL DWI Penalties

If convicted of a CDL DWI the following applies:

A first offense will revoke your Commercial Driver’s License for the period of one year with possible jail time. A subsequent offense can revoke your CDL for life, however there is a chance that you will be able to get them back in ten years along with the possibility of jail. A tertiary offense will revoke your CDL for life along with possible jail time. All of this is laid out in NCGS Section 20-17.4, which is reproduced below in part:

§ 20‑17.4. Disqualification to drive a commercial motor vehicle.

(a) One Year. – Any of the following disqualifies a person from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year if committed by a person holding a commercial driver’s license, or, when applicable, committed while operating a commercial motor vehicle by a person who does not hold a commercial driver’s license:

(1) A first conviction of G.S. 20‑138.1, driving while impaired, for a holder of a commercial driver’s license that occurred while the person was driving a motor vehicle that is not a commercial motor vehicle.

(2) A first conviction of G.S. 20‑138.2, driving a commercial motor vehicle while impaired.

(3) A first conviction of G.S. 20‑166, hit and run.

(4) A first conviction of a felony in the commission of which a commercial motor vehicle was used or the first conviction of a felony in which any motor vehicle is used by a holder of a commercial driver’s license.

(5) Refusal to submit to a chemical test when charged with an implied‑consent offense, as defined in G.S. 20‑16.2.

(6) A second or subsequent conviction, as defined in G.S. 20‑138.2A(d), of driving a commercial motor vehicle after consuming alcohol under G.S. 20‑138.2A.

(7) A civil license revocation under G.S. 20‑16.5, or a substantially similar revocation obtained in another jurisdiction, arising out of a charge that occurred while the person was either operating a commercial motor vehicle or while the person was holding a commercial driver’s license.

(8) A first conviction of vehicular homicide under G.S. 20‑141.4 or vehicular manslaughter under G.S. 14‑18 occurring while the person was operating a commercial motor vehicle.

(9) Driving a commercial motor vehicle during a period when the person’s commercial driver’s license is revoked, suspended, cancelled, or the driver is otherwise disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

(a1) Ten‑Day Disqualification. – A person who is convicted for a first offense of driving a commercial motor vehicle after consuming alcohol under G.S. 20‑138.2A is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for 10 days.

(b) Modified Life. – A person who has been disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a conviction or refusal described in subsection (a) who, as the result of a separate incident, is subsequently convicted of an offense or commits an act requiring disqualification under subsection (a) is disqualified for life. The Division may adopt guidelines, including conditions, under which a disqualification for life under this subsection may be reduced to 10 years.

(b1) Life Without Reduction. – A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for life, without the possibility of reinstatement after 10 years, if that person is convicted of a third or subsequent violation of G.S. 20‑138.2, a fourth or subsequent violation of G.S. 20‑138.2A, or if the person refuses to submit to a chemical test a third time when charged with an implied‑consent offense, as defined in G.S. 20‑16.2, that occurred while the person was driving a commercial motor vehicle.

(c) Life. – A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for life if that person either uses a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of any felony involving the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance or is the holder of a commercial driver’s license at the time of the commission of any such felony.

(c1) Life. – A person shall be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for life, without the possibility of reinstatement, if that person has had a commercial driver’s license reinstated in the past and is convicted of another major disqualifying offense as defined in 49 C.F.R. § 383.51(b).

(d) Less Than a Year. – A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for 60 days if that person is convicted of two serious traffic violations, or 120 days if convicted of three or more serious traffic violations, arising from separate incidents occurring within a three‑year period, committed in a commercial motor vehicle or while holding a commercial driver’s license. This disqualification shall be in addition to, and shall be served at the end of, any other prior disqualification. For purposes of this subsection, a “serious violation” includes violations of G.S. 20‑140(f) and G.S. 20‑141(j3).

(e) Three Years. – A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for three years if that person is convicted of an offense or commits an act requiring disqualification under subsection (a) and the offense or act occurred while the person was transporting a hazardous material that required the motor vehicle driven to be placarded.

(f) Revocation Period. – A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for the period during which the person’s regular or commercial driver’s license is revoked, suspended, or canceled.

Hire a Winston-Salem CDL DWI Attorney

Additionally, unlike the .08 threshold of a non-CDL DWI charge, a .04 is the threshold for a Commercial Driver’s License. Many people don’t realize that even if not on the job in a big truck, a DWI can still impact their CDL in negative ways. Hire an experienced CDL DWI attorney for your case.