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New Jersey Truck Driver DWI Law

With New Jersey’s busy seaports and proximity to New York City, there is a lot of commercial traffic on the roads of NJ. I often get questions from truck drivers about DWI and how a conviction can affect them The short answer is their profession, their livelihood is in real danger if convicted.

New Jersey Truck Driver DWI Laws and Penalties

CDL drivers face a 1 year license suspension for a DUI conviction for a first offense (this jumps to 3 years if the violation occurred in a HAZMAT vehicle) even if the DWI occurred in their personal vehicle.

Truck Driver DWISo what does a one year license suspension mean for a truck driver?

  • You will be completely out of work for one year. You will have to find another job to pay your bills and put food on the table. With the scarcity of good jobs out there, you may end up working at a gas station or fast food restaurant for minimum wage. You will have to make serious cutbacks just to make ends meet.
  • Your insurance rates will go up drastically.
  • After the license suspension finishes, you will face many challenges finding work again. Most trucking companies do background checks and if you have a DWI on your record they will know about it and will probably look elsewhere. Hiring a driver with a DWI is a considerable liability for a trucking company. For example, if a company hires someone with a DWI on their record and the driver ends up in a major DWI accident, the trucking company may be sued for damages because they knew about the driver and exposed the public to risk. Also their insurance company will probably not cover a driver with a DWI or even if they do, it will be at a much higher rate. The end result it that even after the license suspension is served, it will be very difficult for you to find work.
  • You are in real danger of losing your current job and not being able to find work in the future. For many this can spell the end of their career as a commercial truck driver.

This is why it is highly advised that you find a qualified and professional DWI attorney who is willing to fight for your rights and take the matter to trial because a NJ DWI comes with the “death penalty” for a commercial driver.