In New York, having a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) conviction on your record can significantly impact your ability to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets strict standards for CDL holders, and DWI convictions are considered serious violations.
Here are some general guidelines regarding DWI convictions and obtaining a CDL in New York:
- If you hold a CDL and are convicted of a DWI while operating a commercial vehicle, your CDL will be disqualified for one year for a first offense. If you are transporting hazardous materials, the disqualification period is three years.
- If you hold a CDL and are convicted of a second DWI while operating a commercial vehicle, you will be disqualified from holding a CDL for life.
- If you have a DWI conviction on your record while operating a non-commercial vehicle and you apply for a CDL, the conviction may still impact your ability to obtain a CDL. The New York DMV will review your driving record and may deny your application based on your history.
- If your regular driver’s license is suspended or revoked due to a DWI conviction, you will not be able to obtain a CDL during the suspension or revocation period.
Whether or not you are issued a CDL by the DMV will depend on a number of factors. If your conviction is very recent, or you have multiple DWI arrests and convictions you are unlikely to be able to operate a commercial vehicle.
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If you have a conviction from many years ago, but have otherwise maintained a clean driving record, the DMV will take that into consideration when deciding whether to issue you a CDL. In short, the DMV has discretion to grant or deny a CDL application based on the facts and circumstances of your case.
If you currently have a CDL and you are arrested and charged with a DWI offense, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.