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The Consequences of DUI for Commercial Vehicle DriversA conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is costly for anyone, but commercial vehicle drivers have even more at stake. You may lose your career as a commercial driver with a DUI on your record. Even being arrested on suspicion of DUI will disrupt your employment and put your job in jeopardy because of the automatic administrative driver’s license suspension. Challenging your license suspension and criminal charge is critically important for commercial drivers who want to protect their livelihoods.

What Qualifies as a Commercial Vehicle?

People who operate commercial vehicles in California must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). A Class B license allows you to operate large trucks, which are any vehicles that weigh more than 13 tons or three tons if they have three axles. A Class C license allows you to operate other commercial vehicles, including school buses, vehicles carrying more than 10 passengers, double trailers, and vehicles transporting hazardous substances.

Additional Consequences for Commercial Drivers

A person operating a non-commercial vehicle can be charged with DUI if they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater or are deemed to be impaired because of alcohol or drug use. If you are operating a commercial vehicle, the BAC limit is lowered to 0.04 percent. Whether you are charged while driving a commercial or non-commercial vehicle, there are serious consequences for your CDL:

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California Changes BAC Limit for Ride-Share DriversA new California law went into effect on July 1 that has lowered the threshold to charge ride-share drivers with driving under the influence of alcohol. The law sets the blood alcohol concentration limit for these drivers at 0.04, as opposed to the 0.08 limit for most other drivers. The change is meant to treat ride-share drivers more like commercial drivers in terms of DUI enforcement. Ride-share drivers risk losing their jobs and receiving criminal penalties if they are convicted for a DUI charge.

About the Law

The law added a section to California's vehicle code that states that it is unlawful for a driver to have a BAC of 0.04 or more while also having a passenger for hire in the vehicle. Commercial vehicle drivers, such as taxi drivers, have the same BAC limit. While drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft are considered to be providing the same service as taxi drivers, the same DUI law did not apply to them because:

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