Questions arise after snow plow driver accused of drunk driving had CDL license

WILTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two and a half weeks before 58-year-old Mark Johnson was involved in a fatal crash on the Northway, he was arrested for an aggravated DWI in his personal car.

“They’re always responsible for their license. So they have to respect it and make sure that they’re treating it as such,” Andrea Hanley said.

Hanley helps train people for their commercial driver’s license’s and says with that elevated license comes more responsibility.

“You want to make sure you have the right training so you feel both comfortable and obviously safe to operate that on the roads.”

She helps run the CDL school in Menands with her brother Michael Hanley who says a DWI is something a CDL driver’s employer should know about.

“A driver is required to notify his employer of an incident of a violation,” Michael said.

Criminal defense attorney Derrick Hogan says this can have serious ramifications on your CDL.

“If you get pulled over in your regular vehicle your CDL is going to be revoked for a year regardless,” Hogan said.

But none of those consequences come into play until the driver appears in front of a judge.

“As long as he’s not arraigned or going in front of a judge there’s no effect on his license at that point.”

This means Johnson likely held onto his CDL for a month after his DWI, allowing him to be behind the wheel of a plow for a December 14th crash and a fatal accident on December 22.

The federal guidelines for CDL drivers require them to notify their employers of a violation like a DWI. It gives them 30 days after their conviction to do so.

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