What are the Commercial Drivers’ DUI Penalties?

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Because of the potential for harm that big rigs, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles pose to motorists, the penalties for Commercial Vehicle (CV) DUI are more severe and the requirements stricter than those imposed upon ordinary motorists. Obtaining a California commercial driver’s license requires a person pass a driving test of their skill and knowledge of the type of commercial vehicle they will be operating. A person operating a motor vehicle under a Commercial Vehicle License (CDL), is considered over the legal limit if their blood alcohol content exceeds .04. and CDL regulations apply no matter what type of vehicle you are driving. This compares to a legal limit of .08 for those with an ordinary California driver’s license and .01 if you are under 21 years old. If you work under a CDL you are subject to CDL DUI laws at all times, even when you are driving your personal motor vehicle.

California commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements apply to bus and truck drivers as well. There are three classifications of a commercial vehicle based on the weight and number of passengers they carry. Class A applies to commercial vehicles with a total weight in excess of 26,000 lbs. towing more than 10,000 lbs., and Class B for CV’s over 26,000 lbs., towing less than 10,000 lbs. Class C commercial vehicles do not meet the above parameters but carry 16 or more people or carry hazardous materials.

If you are convicted of a DUI your Commercial Driver’s License will be suspended for 12 months. There is no restricted license option even for a student or working person. Repeat offenders within a 10-year period will permanently lose their CDL. In addition to a suspended license, the California DMV or court may punish a commercial DUI offender with large fines, jail time and mandatory attendance at DUI educational programs.

The financial ramifications for being convicted of a DUI under a CDL are severe. Since you will lose your CDL for one year you could lose your job and it may be difficult once the one-year license suspension is over to find a new job. Commercial trucking companies will naturally favor applicants with a clean commercial driver’s license over one with a DUI on their record. If you are an independent commercial driver your motor vehicle insurance may increase to the extent that you can no longer make a living  from driving.

If you have been arrested and charged with a Commercial Vehicle DUI, or other DUI,  call the experienced and knowledgeable DUI defense attorneys at Kovinoky Law Firm immediately. We know that DUI arrests happen at all hours of the day and night and stand ready 24/7 to help you.

Sources: http://www.dmv.org/ca-california/automotive-law/dui.php


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