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Why are Commercial Drivers Held to a Higher Standard When It Comes to a BAC Limit?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

You are considered over the legal limit in California if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over .08 percent. However, for those with a commercial driver’s license, commonly known as a CDL, the permitted BAC is only that of.04 percent. One little-known fact is that even if a driver is in their vehicle and is arrested for DUI, they still face their CDL being suspended.
Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard due to their work. For example, they may be bus drivers tasked with transporting passengers. Or they may be like a majority of truck drivers who haul dangerous substances such as gasoline or toxic chemicals. Their vehicles’ sheer size and weight already make their jobs potentially hazardous without the addition of alcohol.

What are the Penalties for a Commercial Truck Driver if Convicted of a DUI?

No matter what type of driver’s license you hold in California, if you are convicted of a DUI, you could face your license being suspended, steep fines, possible jail time, and mandatory DUI school. However, those who hold a CDL face extra penalties on top of those previously mentioned, such as the following:
• Suspension of your CDL for one year, whereas other drivers face a suspension of approximately four months
• No restricted driving privileges will be granted. However, other non-CDL drivers can request a restricted license that permits them to drive to and from work and for essential errands. There are no provisions that allow for a restricted CDL.

Are There Any Defenses for a Commercial Driver Facing a DUI Charge?

If you are a commercial driver facing a DUI charge, the first step that you need to take is to hire a qualified attorney to represent you. One of the most common pieces of evidence your lawyer will examine is the blood test results or the methods used to obtain the blood sample.
Obtaining strong legal representation is the best choice you can make to protect your future and your livelihood. You need an experienced attorney who is not afraid to stand up to the prosecutor and present a strong defense on your behalf.

What Happens if a CDL Holder is Convicted of a Second DUI?

If convicted of a second DUI, you face the real potential of having your CDL revoked for life. Once you are convicted of DUI, it stays on your record for life, and it does not matter if you receive the second one 20 years after the first; your license can be permanently revoked.
Of course, to drive a commercial vehicle, you must have a valid CDL. If you are caught and convicted of a second DUI offense, the chances of having your CDL reinstated are exceptionally low, even with the help of an attorney.

Can a DUI Attorney Help Me Keep MY CDL?

If you are a commercial driver and have been arrested on DUI charges, you need a highly experienced attorney to help protect your future. Because of your commercial driver’s license, you are held to a higher standard, and there is the assumption that you hold a greater responsibility to be a safe driver out on the road.
Contact our law firm and ask to schedule a free consultation by calling 310-774-4260 as soon as possible.