New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.6: Commercial motor vehicles: per se - level II

Just like it is against the law to drive a car, SUV, or other passenger vehicle while intoxicated, it is also against the law to drive a commercial vehicle while intoxicated. In fact, there are special rules regarding driving a commercial vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. There are two laws making it illegal to drive commercial vehicles while intoxicated. Both are "per se" driving while intoxicated (DWI) statutes. Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.5 if your blood alcohol level is between .04 and .06, you would have committed a crime regardless of whether or not you are showing signs of being intoxicated. Similarly, under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.6 if your blood alcohol level is between .06 and .08 you would be guilty of per se DWI.

Example

A woman drives a class A commercial truck. She does not have to report to work until the afternoon. She takes out a friend for lunch to celebrate that friend's birthday. She has a couple of glasses of wine. The woman then reports to work and starts her route. Because she failed to properly secure the rear door on her truck, a police officer pulled her over. Smelling alcohol on her, the officer requests that she perform a field sobriety test. He ultimately arrests her on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. At the police station she takes a chemical test that shows that her BAC was .05. Even though the woman was not driving recklessly, she can be prosecuted for under the per se commercial motor vehicle level 1 statute.

Related Offenses
  1. Driving while ability impaired: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.1
  2. Driving while intoxicated; per se: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.2
  3. Aggravated driving while intoxicated; per se: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.2(2-a)
  4. Aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.2-a(b)
  5. Driving while ability impaired by drugs: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.4
  6. Commercial motor vehicles; per se - level I: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.5
Defenses

Because a police officer must have probably cause to pull you over, a possible defense is challenging the stop, arguing that there was no probable cause. If the court agrees with you, then the prosecutor will not be able to use any evidence gather after the stop, and will likely dismiss the charge against you.

Sentence

A violation of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.5, driving a commercial vehicle while intoxicated per se- level 1, is considered a traffic infraction with a fine of $300-$500, up to 15 days in jail, or both.

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.6: Commercial motor vehicles: per se - level II

Notwithstanding the provisions of section eleven hundred ninety-five of this article, no person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle while such person has more than .06 of one per centum but less than .08 of one per centum by weight of alcohol in the person's blood as shown by chemical analysis of such person's blood, breath, urine or saliva, made pursuant to the provisions of section eleven hundred ninety-four of this article; provided, however, nothing contained in this subdivision shall prohibit the imposition of a charge of a violation of subdivision one of this section.

The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help

If you are charged with driving while intoxicated while you were driving a commercial vehicle the fine may be small and you may only have to spend a few days in jail. However, you may lose your job, and your DWI will remain on your driving record for years. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with reckless driving, DUI, vehicular homicide, and other serious crimes. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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