San Diego DUI Law Center


A Commercial DUI


Commercial License

In California, there are three different types of commercial driver’s license. A Commercial A license is based on weight. Commercial A driver’s license allow holders to operate a vehicle that has a gross combined weight of 26,000 lbs. On the other hand, a Commercial B license prohibits drivers from towing cargo if it weighs more than 10,000 lbs. Lastly, a Commercial C license does not go based off weight. Instead, a Commercial C license gives drivers the authority to transport hazardous materials.


California Courts

In California, holders of any of the three different types of commercial driver’s licenses are held to a higher standard when it comes to California courts then those that do not.  This is due to the unique and specific skillset required to obtain these licenses. It is essentially preparing them for any of the dangers that can occur when operating those vehicles.


California Vehicle Code 23152(d)

California Vehicle Code 23152(d) is what California refers to as it’s “commercial DUI” law. The California Vehicle Code 23152(d) holds California Commercial License holders to a higher standard by implementing a BAC limit specifically for commercial drivers. The BAC level, for a commercial driver to operate a vehicle legally, must remain below a .04. Anything, including and above a .04, is a violation of the law and can result in sever consequences.


Commercial Consequences

First Offense

  • Up to 1 year in county jail
  • License suspension for at least 1 year
  • Court-ordered probation anywhere from 3 to 5 years
  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Ordered completion of a 3-to-36-month alcohol education class


If a driver that possesses a California Commercial driver’s license obtains a second DUI, they will have to forfeit their license for life. This result is in direct compliance with Vehicle Code 15302. California Vehicle Code 15302 states that a driver shall not operate a commercial motor vehicle for the rest of his or her life if convicted of an illegal driving incident, including a DUI.


DUI Test

In California, the refusal to submit to a chemical DUI test, results in an automatic suspension of a California Commercial driver’s license for 1 year. Refusal to submit to a chemical DUI test after being lawfully arrested for driving under the influence can also result in increased jail time in the event that the defendant already has prior DUI convictions.


Restricted License

One cannot obtain a restricted license to drive a commercial vehicle during the period in which their license is suspended for being convicted of a DUI. But, it is possible for the driver to try and downgrade to non-commercial or motorcycle license. Furthermore, it becomes a possibility to obtain a restricted license to operate a non-commercial vehicle.

With a downgraded restricted license, a driver is able to:

  • Drive to and from work (except for commercial drivers)
  • Transport themselves and/or family members to medical care for any serious medical problems
  • Drive a dependent minor to and from school if public transportation is not available or not an option


Fighting a Commercial DUI

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a California commercial DUI, do not hesitate to get in contact with a California DUI specialist. Rick Mueller, a California DUI Lawyers Association Specialist, has the experience and track record to ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your specific situation. Moreover, don’t wait, situations involving a DUI are time sensitive, and it is imperative you contact a DUI specialist today!


A Commercial DUI

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