Due to the size and weight of the vehicles they drive,
commercial drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to driving under the
influence of intoxicants. While the legal intoxication limit is .08% for
drivers over the age of 21 in California, the legal limit is just .04%
for commercial drivers.
If you’re a commercial driver and you were recently arrested for
driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County, you’ll undoubtedly be concerned about retaining
your current job, as well as your ability to get hired in a driving-based
occupation in the future. After all, this is your livelihood!
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commercial
drivers who are arrested for DUI or test positive for drugs or alcohol
during random testing must be
disqualified by their employer from operating a CMV.
How long is the license suspension?
For a first DUI conviction, a commercial driver can have their CDL suspended for
one year. For a second conviction, a driver could have their CDL
disqualified for life.
A criminal DUI conviction is separate from license suspension, which is
a matter handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For commercial
drivers, a third element is added to the mix –
Were you convicted of DUI? If you were convicted of
DUI, the mandatory 1-year disqualification to drive a CMV applies to you.
Did you test positive for drugs/alcohol? Generally, it is up to the employer whether to take disciplinary actions
against the employee. At the very least, they can suspend you until you
re-take and pass a drug/alcohol test.
Was your license suspended by the DMV? If you were arrested under suspicion of DUI as a commercial driver and
tested at or above .04% percent BAC, your license could be suspended for
four months (first offense) or one year (second offense in 10 years).
Commercial drivers can only apply for a restricted driver's license
if they downgrade to a Class C non-commercial license.
Why Expungement Might Be a Good Option
Section 1203.4 of the California Penal Code allows qualifying individuals
to have certain criminal convictions expunged from their criminal record.
The most common form of expungement effectively re-opens a criminal case,
and a "not guilty" verdict is entered where there once was a
To qualify for
expungement, an individual must successfully complete all terms of their DUI probation.
Although a DUI can be expunged from your record, this does not release
you from any non-criminal consequences such as being penalized by your
employer, having your license suspended by the DMV, or being disqualified
from operating a CMV by the FMCSA.
If you were convicted of DUI and were disqualified from operating a CMV
for one year, and that year has passed, you may be trying to find employment
again as a commercial driver.
If you have fulfilled the terms of your probation, the year disqualification
has passed, and all other qualifications are met, obtaining an expungement
of your DUI may benefit you when it comes to searching for a job as a
For more information on DUI convictions as they relate to commercial driver's
contact an Orange County DUI lawyer at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry,
Inc. for professional assistance!
We provide free initial
case evaluations – just call (877) DUI-QUEEN.