Commercial and General DWI Charges are Distinct; CDL Drivers Can Be Arrested Under Both or Either One
Mark Law Firm, DWI Attorneys - Basking Ridge, Somerset County, New Jersey
A state appeals court ruled this month that a driver with a commercial vehicle driver's license whose conduct violates both the commercial and general DWI statutes may be arrested and charged under both or either one. However, a driver initially charged only under the CDL DWI statutes cannot then be charged under statutory language from the general DWI statutes.
In New Jersey, there are two separate and distinct set of statutory rules pertaining to commercial and general drivers. An appellate court in State v. Nunnally, A-6031-09, ruled that a driver initially charged under that statutory scheme pertaining to holders of commercial driver's licenses was then improperly charged under the refusal statute based in the statutory scheme for general drivers.
In Nunnally, the Defendant was arrested for DWI and refused to submit to a breath test. The Defendant was initially charged under N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.13 which is part of commercial driver's license DWI statutory scheme. The Defendant was then charged under the refusal statute based in the DWI statutory scheme for general drivers. The court ruled the Defendant was improperly charged; he should have been charged under commercial driver's license refusal statute, N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.24, not the general refusal statute.
The court noted the elements of the commercial driver's license refusal statute are "not lesser, but different than" those of the general driver's license refusal statute.
Mark Law Firm, Lawyers handling DWI cases in Bridgewater, Somerset County, New Jersey
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