Commercial Drivers Face Strict DWI Penalties in Minnesota

Minnesota law takes drunk driving very seriously; every state sets their own per se blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level (more commonly called the “legal limit”) for commercial drivers, and in Minnesota it’s 0.04. Commercial drivers face strict DWI penalties that can impact their ability to work and earn a living.

For a first offense, a commercial driver transporting non-hazardous material can lose his commercial driver’s license (CDL) for one year; a driver of hazardous materials can have his license disqualified for three years. If convicted of a second violation, the driver will lose his CDL permanently, but the driver can attempt to have his license reinstated after ten years.

It’s considered a major offense for a commercial driver to operate a commercial vehicle with a suspended, revoked or disqualified CDL – this would result in the possibility of fines up to $5,000 and potential jail time.

The driver will retain his license to operate a noncommercial vehicle unless:

  • the BAC level was 0.08 or higher, the legal limit for a regular motor vehicle DWI
  • the driver tests positive for a controlled substance of any amount
  • the driver is charged with driving while impaired

According to the Minnesota DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), a commercial driver’s license can also be suspended if the driver refuses to take a breath or blood test. This is considered a major offense under both state and federal laws and violates the implied consent law.

If you’re a commercial driver faced with a DWI charge, contact us right away. We will work on your behalf to either have the charges against you reduced or possibly have them dismissed.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.