Staying Calm In Court

What Happens To A Truck Driver Who's Arrested For DWI?

A DWI charge is always serious, but things get even worse when you're a professional truck driver. In addition to the possible criminal consequences, your job could also be at risk. Here's what you have to know if you're a truck driver charged with DWI.

What Are the Criminal Penalties for DWI?

The criminal penalties for DWI vary based on where you were arrested, how much you had to drink, and whether you have any prior convictions for DWI. In most areas, you will be handcuffed and brought to a police station and jail for at least the night.

You will usually then have the chance to post bail. This allows you to return home while you wait for your court dates. If you're convicted or plead guilty, you can expect at least a large fine.

Jail time is possible even on a first DWI offense. However, in most areas, judges only sentence people convicted of DWI to jail if there are aggravating factors. Aggravating factors can include being well over the legal limit, hurting someone, or having prior convictions.

What Are the Civil Penalties for DWI?

DWI often comes with an automatic license suspension. If not, your license will almost always be suspended upon conviction. Some jurisdictions allow people with DWI suspensions to drive for a limited purpose such as commuting to work and a weekly shopping trip. However, a truck driver will almost never get this type of exemption. Because of the dangers of driving a large truck, truck drivers are expected to have a nearly perfect driving record to remain on the road.

What Will Your Truck Company Do If You're Charged with DWI?

Getting arrested for or convicted of DWI will almost always mean immediate termination of your employment. Even if the arrest happened during your personal time, the company can't take the risk that you have a substance abuse problem that would lead to you getting behind the wheel of a truck while under the influence. The company would also be at much greater risk of a lawsuit if you ever caused an accident.

If you're wondering about being innocent until proven guilty, that mostly applies in your criminal case. Your employment is almost certainly at-will, and even if you have to be fired for cause, the standard for that is often much lower than a criminal conviction.

To learn more about how to handle your DWI case, reach out to a law firm such as Wilder Law Firm.