Sacramento DUI Defense Attorney Explains Commercial Driver DUI Charges
It takes special skills to safely operate large trucks and buses and only professional drivers will be able to receive and keep a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). California defines a commercial vehicle as anything that is not:
- a recreational vehicle,
- military equipment operated for military purposes by civilian or non civilian personnel,
- an implement of husbandry operated by a person who is not required to obtain a driver license,
- a person who operates a hazardous waste vehicle,
- and vehicles used for emergency situations.
Because of the special skills it takes to operate such vehicles, if you receive a DUI while operating with a CDL, both your personal and professional line of work suffers. Additionally, commercial drivers are held to higher standards than regular drivers, so when faced with a DUI, the penalties will be much more severe.
California law prohibits commercial license holders from driving with a blood alcohol level of .04% or higher.
If you are faced with a first time CDL DUI, expect a 1-year suspension of the commercial license in addition to other DUI penalties. For second and subsequent offenses, there is a lifetime ban on each type of commercial license. Keep in mind that a commercial driver’s license can also be suspended if a person is convicted of DUI while driving a non-commercial vehicle. If a CDL driver’s BAC is below .04, you can be issued an “out of service” ticket, which prevents driving for the next 24 hours.
It is illegal in California for any person who is addicted to the use of any type of drug to drive a commercial vehicle. That means, illicit drugs such as cocaine AND prescription drugs such as Lipitor is considered an illegal substance to consume for a commercial driver. Any substance that affects the nervous system, the brain, or muscles of the individual operating the vehicle, impairs their ability tremendously.
If you are prosecuted of driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of drugs, remember that it is not enough that the drug be detected or could have possibility impaired your ability to drive. Rather, the prosecutor has to show that the drug actually impaired the motorist’s driving ability. Furthermore, if you are participating in a narcotic treatment program or under the influence of Methadone, Levoalphacetlymethadol, Buprenophrine products or combination of products approved by the FDA, you cannot be convicted of driving under the influence of drugs. The best thing to do if you are ever pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, call a Sacramento DUI lawyer at Allaye Chan Law immediately.
We can assist you not only with your criminal charge, but also in pursuing your administrative process with the DMV, particularly if you are a commercial driver, or your need to retain a driver’s license is otherwise particularly critical. We know California DUI law and procedure, and we know how to frame your case to give you the best opportunity for overcoming or minimizing the consequences of a DUI charge or license suspension or revocation.