When a truck driver receives a traffic charge such as a DUI in Texas, a conviction may directly impact his or her ability to make a living. Even a first offense carries penalties specifically for offenders who hold a commercial driver’s license.

Before attending court for a DUI, understand how a conviction for a serious traffic violation will affect your CDL.

Offenses resulting in CDL disqualification

Crimes that carry mandatory CDL suspension or revocation in Texas include the following:

  • Speeding, reckless driving and other dangerous offenses: 60 days for two incidents within three years, 120 days for a third incident in three years
  • Grade-crossing highway or railroad violations: 60 days for first offense, 120 days for second offense within three years, minimum of one year for third offense within three years
  • DUI: one year for first offense, lifetime for second offense
  • Leaving the scene of an accident or felony: one to three years for first offense, lifetime for second offense
  • Using a vehicle to commit a felony: lifetime
  • Knowingly traveling with an alien: lifetime

While the legal blood alcohol limit for driving under the influence in Texas is 0.08% for most drivers, drivers who hold a CDL can receive a DUI charge with a BAC of 0.04% or higher. These rules also apply to CDL drivers from other states charged with a moving violation or traffic offense while passing through Texas.

Steps to avoid revocation

You have the right to request a hearing within 20 days of the original ruling if you receive CDL disqualification after a traffic offense. After you successfully complete the request form, the state Department of Public Safety will mail notice of your hearing date and time. Most hearings take place within 120 days of your request.

If your request for reinstatement receives denial at the hearing, you have the right to request an appeal. You also have the right to legal representation at the hearing and during your appeal.