DUI With A Commercial License

Feb 17, 2015 @ 03:55 PM — by Myles L. Berman

Most people who are convicted of DUI or receive a DUI related license suspension suffer the frustration of trying to figure out how they are going to maintain their lifestyle without driving their car. How to get to the grocery store? Who will pick the kids up from daycare? What to tell fellow carpoolers when you’re not pulling your weight? How to avoid your boss finding out about your DUI?

The above problems are compounded if you are a commercial truck driver or required to have a commercial license as a condition of your employment. (For example:  firefighter required to drive a fire engine, paramedic required to drive an ambulance, or big rig driver.) . As you will read below, it does not matter if the commercial license holder received the DUI while driving a commercial vehicle or a personal vehicle.

Most commercial license holders have their driver’s license status monitored by their employers. Consequences of being arrested for a DUI can be extremely detrimental to the commercial license holder’s employment. Such a person can lose his or her ability to drive commercially for a year if that person has a commercial license and is arrested for a DUI while driving his personal vehicle. The vehicle need only be battery operated. It can be a motorized scooter, a golf cart, a motorcycle, or an automobile.  In California, if the person either receives a conviction for a violation of vehicle code section 23152 or a DUI related license suspension, that person’s commercial license will be disqualified for one calendar year. As such, that person may end up out of work for that year.

There is also a lower alcohol level standard if the commercial driver is in a commercial vehicle when he or she gets a DUI.  That lower blood alcohol level is .04. This applies to big rigs as well as smaller vehicles which require a commercial license plate.

A second time DUI conviction or second time DUI license suspension will result in lifetime disqualification. As such, this person will not be allowed to hold a commercial license for the rest of his or her life. This person can never drive commercially.

One final point of notice is the fact that these standards apply to someone who has never held a commercial license but has suffered one or more DUIs.  This means that if someone has a conviction for a violation of 23152 or a DUI related license suspension, then that person must wait a year from the conviction or suspension date before he or she can apply for a commercial license. Additionally, if a person has 2 convictions for violating 23152 or 2 DUI related license suspensions, that person is precluded from ever holding a commercial license.

Well, I hope you found this recent edition of the DUI blog helpful to understanding complicated nature of DUI defense.

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