In California, like all other states, drivers age 21 and older are prohibited from driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above. Any BAC greater than .08% will signal to law enforcement that a driver is unable to drive a vehicle safely, and will be grounds for a DUI arrest.
For other driver categories, including drivers under the age of 21 and drivers of commercial vehicles, the restrictions on BAC even more strict.
DUI Penalties for Commercial Drivers
Commercial drivers are those who carry goods or a high volume of passengers. We’re talking about tour bus drivers, party bus drivers, delivery truck drivers, and semi-truck drivers.
Since a crash with these vehicles can cause serious, extensive injuries and property damage, commercial drivers are held to a higher standard for BAC than passenger car and truck drivers.
Under California law, it’s unlawful for a commercial driver to have .04% or more BAC while operating a commercial vehicle, and that’s completely understandable. A first time DUI offense for a commercial driver in California can result in:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Participation in a court-ordered alcohol program
The big difference between a commercial and non-commercial DUI is that a commercial driver will have their license revoked for one year if convicted of driving under the influence.
More than one DUI conviction can cause a driver to lose their commercial license for the rest of their lives. Aside from their commercial license taking a hit, commercial drivers will also face repercussions with their standard driver's license.
For those who depend on commercial driver's licenses for their livelihood, a DUI conviction can result in a significant loss of income and prevent a seasoned driver from obtaining other employment in their field.
The good news is that there is hope. Fortunately, hiring a DUI defense attorney can help prevent this from happening. An experienced lawyer can work on finding the best possible defense strategy to achieve the goal of having charges dismissed or significantly reduced.
If you have been arrested for a commercial DUI in Orange County, call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. Our firm offers a free initial consultation to begin offering you the skilled representation you need.