3 Consequences of an OWI Conviction for CDL holder in Wisconsin
OWI & Implications for Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
In Wisconsin, a Commercial Driver’s License is required to operate vehicles that:
- Weigh over 26,000 pounds, determined by the highest of the following weights:
- manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
- manufacturer’s gross combination weight rating (GCWR) when the towed unit has a GVWR, registered weight or actual gross weight over 10,000 pounds
- actual weight
- registered weight
- Carry hazardous materials that require placarding under federal law
- Are designed or used to carry 16 or more persons including the driver (buses and some school buses)
The consequences of an OWI conviction for a CDL holder can be tremendous, even if it's your first OWI in Wisconsin. If a CDL holder is convicted of an OWI offense they can be subject to the following penalties:
- For first offenders, a 1-year CDL disqualification (a 3-year CDL disqualification if transporting hazardous materials);
- For 2nd and subsequent offenders (with first offense after July 1, 1987), a lifetime CDL disqualification;
- In addition to an OWI conviction, administrative suspensions through the Department of Transportation (DOT) result in CDL disqualifications.
If you are a CDL holder and have been charged with an OWI offense, it is crucial to hire an experienced OWI criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of success. There are important nuances in OWI cases that can make or break your case and you need a skilled advocate to navigate them properly.