A Former Prosecutor Defending Clients in Wyoming and South Dakota
A Wyoming charge for Driving While Under the Influence (DWUI) is bad enough. If you have a Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL) and drive for a living, a Wyoming DWUI charge threatens your livelihood. A conviction for a DWUI with a CDL carries hefty penalties that can negatively effect your ability to earn a living.
If you have a CDL and were charged with a DWUI, even if you were not driving a commercial vehicle at the time, you face serious consequences that could jeopardize your ability to work. You need an experienced team of criminal defense lawyers who will aggressively represent you, and who will minimize the impact of a possible DWUI conviction.
Just like drivers of non-commercial vehicles, you can be charged with a Wyoming DWUI if you are under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two. This also includes driving while under the influence of prescription drugs, if they impair your ability to drive.
Commercial drivers are held to higher standards when they are driving commercially. But they also must adhere to additional requirements when they are operating a personal vehicle. Commercial drivers are expected to drive well, exhibit concern for public safety, and never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Because the consequences of an accident involving a large commercial are so much higher, Wyoming law defines impairment differently for commercial drivers than it does for non-commercial drivers.
Wyoming law draws an important distinction between being charged with a DWUI in your personal vehicle versus being charged with a DWUI in a commercial vehicle.
A DWUI while driving a commercial vehicle is a major violation. Major violations include:
If you are convicted of a major violation you will lose your CDL for one year.
If you are convicted of DWUI with a CDL while carrying hazardous materials you will lose your CDL for 3 years.
A conviction for certain moving violations while driving your personal vehicle can also have consequences for your CDL.
If your license is suspended due to a DWUI in your personal vehicle, you risk losing your CDL for up to one year. A second conviction for a DWUI in a personal vehicle can result in the permanent loss of your CDL driving privileges.
If you are convicted of a Wyoming DWUI, you can also expect your insurance rates to go up.
The effect of a DWUI on a CDL holder cannot be understated. A DWUI charge for a commercial driver can have a serious impact on your career. If your CDL is suspended for 1 to 3 years, you will need to find other work during that time. And if you’ve been driving commercially for years, it can be hard to find work that pays as well as driving.
If your CDL has been disqualified you must reapply for a Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) and must retake all the knowledge tests for the CDL you wish to obtain. You must hold a CLP for a minimum of 14 days before you are eligible to retake the skills test.
Even after your CDL is reinstated you may still have a hard time finding work as a commercial driver. Most trucking companies will conduct a background check on a new employee, and a DWUI conviction will come up in a standard background check.
At The Wyoming Criminal Law Group our team of experienced DWUI defense professionals can defend you against a Wyoming DWUI charge. We can challenge the basis for the initial stop, the way in which any field sobriety tests were conducted, and the accuracy of the BAC test.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.