What happens when you are arrested for DUI and have a Class A License (Commercial License?)
DUI and a Class A Commercial Driver’s License – A DUI with a Commercial Class A License is subject to certain rules and handling. The DMV has jurisdiction over a commercial license, so they control what happens with that license when there is a DUI arrest.
A Commercial, Class A California Driver’s License is defined as any legal combination of vehicles, including vehicles under Class B and Class C. any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 lbs.
DUI and a Class A Commercial Driver’s License – the law. Commercial Drivers are not subject to the same alcohol levels as the regular public (Class C) licenses. For any other driver, it is illegal to drive above a .08% (Vehicle Code section 23152(b). California Vehicle Code section 23152(d), however, makes it a crime for any commercial driver’s license holder to drive with a .04% or higher blood alcohol level.
As mentioned in our guide to DMV hearings, all persons arrested for a DUI, no matter what type of California license, is required to request a hearing to save their license within 10 days. The DMV is very strict about the ten days rule.
With cases where a person has a Class A license, where a DMV hearing has been requested, and while a stay is on the record with DMV and the matter is pending APS hearing, the Commercial License right to drive a commercial vehicle will be suspended for a period of at least one (1) year.
If there is, on the driving record, a class A endorsement
absent or disqualified, there might be the right to file a writ and have an immediate ex parte to keep that person driving, if there is a legal issue described in the writ, and immediate harm for the ex parte (emergency) action.
DUI and a Class A Commercial Driver’s License – Getting a License Back. Once a APS hearing is conducted, and if the DMV finds against the holder of the commercial license, a commercial driver may also
downgrade to a Class C license with the normal 30 day suspension and the 5 month restriction. To get a Class A license back, with endorsements, a driver will have to re-qualify, by taking the driving and written tests all over again.
If there is enough time, the advice from our office often is to call or otherwise contact the DMV ASAP, and downgrade the license to a Class C. Then our office will contact the DMV and request the hearing. If th ehearing results are negative, after the restricted license for non-commercial drivers, the driver can take the tests described above to reinstate the Commercial Class A driving privileges, even with the DUI on their record.
If you have any questions, use the Contact the Firm part of our website to ask any questions of our Orange County DUI Lawyers.