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How does drunk driving affect by commercial driver's license?

A commercial driver's license allows a driver to haul and contract to haul freight and goods on roads throughout Wisconsin and the rest of the country. Because commercial drivers often have to travel long distances and in some cases carry heavy loads in their vehicles, they are regulated by federal laws in terms of when and how long they can operate without rest. States like Wisconsin also regulate commercial drivers and impose penalties on them when they are suspected of drinking and driving.

For example, under Wisconsin law a commercial driver may lose his commercial driver's license for 24 hours if he is stopped and has any measureable amount of alcohol in his system. If the driver has less than .08 percent blood alcohol concentration but equal to or greater than .04percent when stopped, he may face a fine of $150 or more, disqualification of his license and other penalties based on whether it is his first or a subsequent offense.

Penalties for more serious charges skyrocket. A drunk driving accident where a person is injured can result in a commercial driver being fined up to $100,000. He may also face a prison sentence and the loss of his license. Losing a commercial license can be a difficult blow to a person's livelihood if he depends on commercial driving to make his living.

Individuals who are facing the loss or suspension of their commercial driver's licenses due to drunk driving charges may choose to defend themselves. While it is impossible to guarantee how a case will resolve, some individuals experience lessened penalties when they negotiate their charges with the help of drunk driving defense attorneys. The potential consequences of a drunk driving charge are always serious, including when the charged driver operates with a commercial driver's license.

Source:, "Commercial Driver License Alcohol and Other Drug Offenses and Related Penalties," Accessed March 19, 2015

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