Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law

Dealing with DUI charges as a commercial driver

Commercial vehicle drivers depend on their licenses for their livelihood. They need to be able to drive to put a roof over their heads and feed their families. There are very strict requirements placed on drivers with CDLs, and if they run afoul of these laws, their entire livelihood may be in jeopardy. A single DUI conviction could result in the loss of CDL driving privileges, and make it impossible for these drivers to find employment in the future.

How does a DUI affect my career?

For most transportation companies, they want to ensure they hire the safest, most responsible drivers for their distribution. They want to make sure that their productions or services will get from point A to point B without any hiccups or self-inflicted problems.

Due to that responsibility, most companies avoid drivers with a criminal record, including prior drunk driving offenses. The same is true if a current employee receives a DUI conviction; the business may take additional action to avoid being put in a position where they may be potentially liable for their drivers’ actions.

It puts drivers in a serious predicament as many of these companies require their employees to notify their employers of any traffic violations, including drunk driving offenses, within 30 days of the charges. It’s scary to admit when the risk of unemployment is so high for most commercial drivers.

What penalties are there for CDL DUI in California?

Impact to a person’s career is not the only concern when facing a DUI – you also need to worry about what will happen in your criminal case. Commercial drivers in California may also suffer additional penalties if convicted of DUI, such as:

  • Possibly a year in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to three years in alcohol treatment or education programs
  • Losing their commercial license for one year after the first violation

If a commercial driver repeats the offenses, they will most likely be unable to receive their commercial license again. It’s challenging to face the possibilities of fighting a DUI charge while also grappling with losing a stable income.

But commercial drivers do not have to settle for a conviction. There are ways to fight the tests and poke holes in the arguments to allow you to protect your livelihood.