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Commercial OWI

Commercial OWI

Operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in Michigan requires knowledge, special skills and a commercial driver license (CDL). Before the state of Michigan introduced the CDL program, any individual with a regular driver’s license could legally operate a truck. Now, drivers of commercial motor vehicles are required to obtain a CDL and drive responsibly in order to avoid disqualification.

A drunk driving conviction in Michigan is a serious matter alone. However, driving a commercial vehicle while impaired or driving your own vehicle inebriated as a CDL holder can not just affect your freedom, but your overall livelihood. An OWI conviction can cost a person their CDL for years and sometimes even ending their commercial driving career. If an individual has been arrested for commercial OWI, it’s important to act quickly and secure qualified legal representation as soon as possible. Time is of essence and rights are on the line.

Oakland County Commercial OWI Lawyer, MI | Drunk Driving Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with commercial OWI, contact OWI defense attorney J. Dallo to learn more about your legal options. Dallo has years of experience defending people accused of OWI and has a proven track record of success. He will help you discreetly fight the charges and protect your future.

Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the Oakland County and Macomb County area including Bloomfield Hills, Sterling Heights, Roseville, Pontiac, Troy, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Utica, Rochester, Novi and St. Claire Shores. Call us now at (248) 283-7000 to set up your first, free initial consultation. J. Dallo is prepared to offer effective and aggressive legal representation.


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Commercial OWI in Michigan

Operating a vehicle while intoxicated is one of the most common crimes committed by drivers in the state of Michigan. Unfortunately, the consequences can be stiff. Aside from steep fines and jail time, an OWI conviction includes hours of community service, probation, and license suspension.

An OWI conviction, however, can have even harsher consequences if it involves the operation of a commercial motor vehicles. Drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) face more rigid restrictions than regular motor vehicle operators. Under Michigan law, CMV drivers cannot have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 or higher while non-CMV drivers have a legal limit of BAC of 0.08 or higher. Commercial vehicle operators are required to have a much lower amount of alcohol in their system; even when they’re driving their own vehicle.

Operators of commercial vehicles can be charged with the following offenses if they drive under the influence:

  • Operating with an unlawful bodily alcohol level (UBAL) of at least 0.10 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine
  • Operating under the influence of liquor (OUIL)
  • Operating while impaired (OWI) when your BAC is more than .07 but less than .10 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine
  • OUIL, OWI or UBAL causing death or serious injury

If the driver is convicted of any of the offenses listed above, their commercial driver’s license will be suspended for one year if it is a first offense or three years if transporting hazardous materials. The license may be revoked for at least ten years if it is a second or third offense.


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Do I need a Commercial Driver License in Michigan?

An individual is required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Michigan if they are operating a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more. The law also applies if the driver is operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) designed to transport 16 people or more, carrying hazardous materials, or towing a trailer with a GVWR of at least 10,000 pounds.

A Michigan resident must be at least 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle across state lines and 18 to operate a vehicle only in the state. To obtain a standard or enhanced CDL, Michigan requires all drivers to provide proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency. The enhanced CDL allows individuals to re-enter the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean without the need to show additional citizenship documents at the border.


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CDL Exemptions in Michigan

Although Michigan law requires drivers that operate a commercial vehicle to obtain a CDL, there are several exemptions. Individuals who operate motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members do not need a commercial driver’s license. In addition to them, the following individuals do not need a CDL:

  • Active-Duty Military: Operating military vehicles with military licenses (includes the National Guard).
  • Farmers: Operating vehicles within a 150-mile radius of their farm
  • Police and Firefighters: Operating authorized emergency vehicles

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Additional Resources for Commercial OWI in Michigan

Michigan SOS: Who Needs a CDL in Michigan – Visit the official website for the Office of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. The webpage offers information on who needs a CDL in the state of Michigan. It also lists the people who are exempt from the driver’s license such as police officers, firefighters, and farmers.

Michigan Penal Code: Operating Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated – Click the link to visit the official website for the Michigan Legislature. Access the website to view Michigan Penal Code 257.625 which discusses operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) laws and penalties. The page lists the various types of OWI offenses and the elements required by Michigan state to convict someone of OWI.


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CDL OWI Defense Bloomfield Hills Attorneys, Michigan

A drunk driving conviction can alter someone’s life. If you or someone you know has been charged with commercial OWI, it’s time to seek an experienced CDL defense attorney. Michigan OWI lawyer J. Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C. knows what it takes to have your name cleared. He will help you navigate through this difficult time.

Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients from communities of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Orchard Lake Village, West Bloomfield, Commerce Township, Farmington Hills, Royal Oak, Novi, Livonia, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Rochester, and Rochester Hills. Call (248) 283-7000 to schedule a free consultation with OWI attorney J. Dallo.


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