Commercial DUI Charges
What if I was arrested while driving commercially?
A commercial driver's license is required in order to drive vehicles such as commercial trucks (18-wheeler, tractor trailers, tow trucks) and buses, both public and private. In California, commercial drivers are subject to different DUI guidelines than non-commercial drivers. Vehicle Code 23152 (d) specifies that any commercial driver with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.04% is considered to be driving under the influence. Those found to be driving with this level of intoxication can be subject to lose their license for one year at minimum and up to life, depending on the circumstances.
A non-commercial driver can legally drive with a BAC limit below 0.08%. The laws are stricter for commercial drivers because of the large size of their vehicles and the higher risk of serious injury or fatality in the event of a car accident. Commercial trucks cause extreme damage when involved in accidents with passenger vehicles due to the disparity in weight and size. In bus accidents, the rates of injuries and fatalities are higher because of the greater number of passengers, lack of seat belt, and size of the vehicle. These factors all contribute to commercial drivers' tighter restrictions and harsher penalties for DUI convictions.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence with a commercial license, you could face such penalties as losing your license, fines up to $1,000, mandatory substance abuse treatment, up to 36 months of educational programs, probation or even up to a year in jail. While non-commercial drivers may have the ability to obtain a restricted drivers license, a commercial driver does not have this option open to them. When you are facing serious charges, you need to know your options and the potential penalties, as well as how to defend against them.