What Happens If a Commercial Driver Gets a DUI in California?

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that can have severe consequences for anyone. However, for commercial drivers in California, the repercussions can be even more significant. If you are a commercial driver or know someone who is, it is crucial to understand what happens if a commercial driver gets a DUI in California.

The Legal Limit for Commercial Drivers

Commercial drivers in California are subject to stricter regulations when it comes to alcohol consumption and driving. While the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for most drivers is 0.08%, commercial drivers are held to a lower limit of 0.04%. It is important to note that this limit applies not only while operating a commercial vehicle but also when driving a personal vehicle.

Consequences of a Commercial DUI in California

If a commercial driver is convicted of a DUI in California, they will face immediate consequences that can impact their livelihood. These consequences may include:

  • Suspension of their commercial driver's license (CDL) for one year, if convicted of a first offense (or a three-year CDL disqualification if you were arrested while transporting hazardous materials)
  • Temporary loss of employment or difficulty finding new job opportunities
  • A potential jail term of up to one year
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • Up to 36 months of DUI school
  • Increased insurance premiums

A second DUI conviction carries permanent CDL disqualification, which means you could no longer be gainfully employed as a commercial driver.

Legal Defense Options

If you or someone you know is a commercial driver facing a DUI charge in California, it is crucial to seek legal representation to navigate the complex legal process. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help explore various defense strategies, such as challenging the legality of the traffic stop, questioning the accuracy of the breathalyzer test, or negotiating a plea bargain.

Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is a leading criminal defense firm in Los Angeles with extensive experience in handling DUI cases for commercial drivers. Our team of dedicated attorneys understands the unique challenges commercial drivers face and can provide the guidance and support needed to protect your rights and minimize the impact of a DUI charge.

Remember, Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is here to help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. Contact us today at (800) 462-7160.