What Happens If a Commercial Driver Gets a DUI in CA?

Whether you operate a semi-truck loaded with precious cargo or a bus full of passengers, having a commercial driver’s license (CDL) comes with great responsibilities. If you commit a traffic violation or even a criminal offense, such as a DUI, the penalties involved may be greater compared to non-commercial drivers. 

When it comes to driving under the influence, you can be arrested for operating a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .04 percent, rather than a .08 percent limit for non-commercial drivers. Not only does a DUI conviction result in fines and jail or probation, but it can also lead to CDL suspension. 

A first DUI conviction carries CDL suspension for at least one (1) year. Compared to non-commercial drivers, license suspensions generally last up to six months or so. 

However, if a first offense involves transporting hazardous materials, then a conviction is punishable by a CDL suspension for at least three (3) years. A second DUI conviction means the loss of CDL for life.  

Keep in mind, if you were operating your personal vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent at the time of your DUI arrest, a conviction can still impact your CDL status. Furthermore, commercial drivers cannot apply for a restricted license that allows them to drive to and from work. 

Even after you are convicted and serve your CDL suspension, you may experience difficulties finding work. Since employers are allowed to conduct a criminal background check, they may hold your conviction against you. 

If you are a commercial driver who has been arrested for a DUI in Riverside County, contact Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich today at (951) 506-6654 for a free initial consultation. Serving residents in Murrieta, Corona, and throughout the county. 


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