DUI and a Commercial Drivers License
What are the effects of a DUI conviction on Commercial Licenses or Drivers?
Those with commercial vehicle licenses have a different legal alcohol limit. For DUI and a Commercial Drivers License, the alcohol limit is .04% BAC, whether arrested for a felony or misdemeanor. The DMV action against Commercial Drivers is also more severe.
The law, specifically California Vehicle Code section 23152(d), requires that the prosecution prove that you were operating a commercial vehicle, had a commercial license at the time, and were at or above a .04% at the time of driving.
The Federal National Highway Transportation Safety Administration – NHTSA – requires that state’s impose laws that enforce the .04%. California’s laws match those federal requirements.
“In addition to establishing testing and licensing standards, the Act also established 0.04 percent Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) as the blood alcohol level at which the driver of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) is deemed to be Driving While Impaired (DWI) and subject to disqualification sanctions. Most States have enacted legislation empowering State, county, and municipal police officers to enforce the 0.04 percent limit. However, it is imperative that each individual officer becomes thoroughly knowledgeable in the applicable State statute and obtain departmental legal interpretation as to probable cause requirements and their impact on enforcement for their particular jurisdiction.”
Under a separate DMV hearing, which you must request within 10 days from the date of your arrest, you may have a DMV hearing to review the evidence. If you lose that hearing, as a commercial class A driver facing a DUI, you will lose your privilege to drive a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
What Defenses Exist To A Commercial Driver DUI?
Commercial Driver DUI Defenses in Court
With the court prosecution of the DUI and a Commercial Drivers License, if there is any chance that you were not actually in a commercial vehicle, proving that will help your case. But for most drivers, proving that you either were not in fact a .04% at the time of driving (not just at the time of testing), or that there was invalid probable cause for the stop, are the most fruitful areas for challenging the case.
Commercial Driver DUI Defenses at the DMV
With the DMV, as mentioned, the punishment for DUI and a Commercial Drivers License – a one year hard suspension of commercial driving privileges. The DMV objections are technical factual and legal defenses, and you’re much better off with a lawyer handling those. Whether or not the DMV can prove, using the reports and other evidence, that you were driving, above a .04%, that the police followed all procedures for a lawful arrest, and that there was a valid reason, or probable cause, for the stop, are all issues to be discussed at the DMV.
If you are facing a DUI charge for an incident while in a commercial vehicle, or if you are a Commercial Class A driver facing an DMV action, contact us for any questions. We have answers and can help you.