Commercial drivers in California rely on their commercial driver’s license (CDL) to carry out their jobs. Your CDL requires you to adhere to all the rules of the road, including those associated with driving under the influence (DUI).
In fact, a DUI can affect your CDL in California. You could even lose your driving privileges after a DUI conviction. Review the specific effects of a DUI on your CDL with the Simmrin Law Group. Call (310) 896-2723 to talk to a legal professional about commercial DUI charges.
Commercial DUI Charges in the State of California
Commercial drivers can face specific DUI charges in California. The court system uses Vehicle Code Section 23152(d) to prosecute drivers operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence. According to VC 23152(d), you can be charged with a commercial DUI if you:
- Operate a commercial vehicle
- While your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.04%
Defining Commercial Vehicles
California uses a set definition for commercial vehicles. Any vehicle requiring a Class B license is considered a commercial vehicle. Some commercial vehicles may be driven with a Class C license as long as you have a commercial driver endorsement. Additionally, if you’re carrying a passenger for hire your vehicle will be considered a commercial vehicle while the passenger is with you.
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Results of a Commercial Vehicle DUI in California
A conviction under VC 23152(d) can have serious consequences for your life. A first-time conviction for a commercial DUI can result in:
- Jail time
- High fines
- Mandatory attendance in DUI school
Additionally, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will automatically suspend your CDL for one year for a first-time conviction. Note that the penalties for commercial DUIs will increase each time you are convicted.
Make sure you get help handling any criminal charges before you are convicted of a commercial DUI by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. Call (310) 896-2723 to speak to the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group today.
Other DUI Charges for Commercial Drivers in California
Thus far, we have only discussed commercial DUI charges in California. Commercial drivers may also face DUI charges when they are not operating their commercial vehicles. If you are driving a non-commercial vehicle, you must keep your BAC under 0.08%, as this is the general BAC level in California.
You can be charged with a DUI if you drive a non-commercial vehicle with an elevated BAC. In this situation, your CDL will still be suspended automatically for a year. You will also face fines and jail time.
Subsequent DUI Charges and Your CDL
We mentioned that the penalties for DUIs in California increase each time that you are convicted. This statement is especially true for commercial drivers. A first-time DUI leads to a one-year CDL suspension. Your CDL can be lost for life for a second DUI.
Both the federal government and the state of California support a lifetime CDL revocation for a second DUI conviction. Note that you can get a DUI while driving either a commercial or a non-commercial vehicle. Either type of DUI can lead to the lifelong loss of your CDL in California.
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Other Dangers to Your CDL in California
You should be aware that your CDL may be suspended even if you are not convicted of a DUI in California. For example, during a DUI traffic stop, you may be asked to complete blood alcohol content (BAC) testing by a law enforcement officer. If you refuse a legally ordered BAC test, your license may be:
- Suspended for one year if you have no prior DUIs
- Suspended for two years if you have one prior DUI
A license suspension for refusal to take a BAC test can stand even if you are never convicted of a DUI. This means that you could be unable to work for up to two years even without facing a DUI conviction in the state of California.
Get Help Handling Commercial DUI Charges
You don’t have to try to take on a commercial DUI charge in California on your own. You can get professional help building a strong defense right now by contacting the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group. Speak to our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles now to get a FREE case evaluation.
Our team understands what it takes to handle commercial DUI charges. We can review your legal situation and begin working on a strong defense for you right now. Protect your driving privileges and your ability to work by contacting us now.
Reaching us is easy. Just complete our online contact form or call (310) 896-2723.