What is the DWI law for commercial drivers?Ask a Trooper question: In Minnesota the blood alcohol limit is .08 but I have been told that since I have a commercial driver’s license, for me it is .04. Is this true?
By: Trooper Andy Schmidt of the Minnesota State Patrol, Alexandria Echo Press
Question: In Minnesota the blood alcohol limit is .08 but I have been told that since I have a commercial driver’s license, for me it is .04. Is this true?
Answer: The simple answer to your question is, "No." In part, statute 169A.20 states that it is illegal to drive, operate or be in physical control of any motor vehicle when a person's alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more. There is a clause in that statute that states that if the vehicle involved is a commercial motor vehicle then it is illegal if a person's alcohol concentration is 0.04 or more. It is not the type of driver's license, but rather the type of vehicle being driven that determines which alcohol concentration level applies.
Question: When hauling a load of firewood, does it have to be covered with canvas or something?
Answer: Minnesota Statute 169.81 sb 5a states in part, "No vehicle that has a cargo area without a rear wall may be driven or moved on a trunk highway with a load of cut firewood of less than three feet in length unless the rear of the cargo area is covered with a material of sufficient strength to prevent any part of the load from escaping from the rear. No person shall transport firewood in any vehicle in an unsafe manner."
Now I can see some individual out there already thinking that he'll cut his wood to a length of four feet so this law does not apply. Or they will put a rear gate on and then pile on the logs. For those guys I will advise you to read the underlined sentence one more time! If you have the old truck loaded and when going over a bump in the road you have a piece of wood or two bounce out of the back, side or top, then I think you do not have it loaded or transported in a safe manner. For safety’s sake you may want to make the loads smaller and just make one or two more trips. I think that is a small price to pay for the added safety.
Here are some simple tasks to help you avoid being in a crash: turn on your lights; drive sober; stop talking on the cell phone; slow down; and because not every driver out there is as careful as you, buckle up.
If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws in Minnesota, send your questions to Trooper Andy Schmidt, Minnesota State Patrol, 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. Or reach me at email@example.com.