Commercial Vehicle DUI in California

Anaheim CDL DUI Attorney

Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than personal drivers and are heavily regulated by both state and federal law. These regulations are especially strict when it comes to drinking and driving. At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, we know that these regulations can make it more difficult to fight DUI convictions, but we have the efficiency and aggressiveness to do just that.

Our Anaheim DUI defense lawyer, Barney B. Gibbs, has dedicated his practice to criminal defense for more than 30 years. His focus and committment to one legal practice area has allowed him to build a comprehensive knowledge of the law. Additionally, he has handled more than 2,500 cases in the local court system, through which he has developed an insight into local judges and prosecutors that gives him a distinct advantage in the courtroom. You can trust that he will put his experience to work for you.

California Penal Code: Commercial DUI Laws

If you hold a California commercial driver’s license, it is easier to convict you of DUI than it is to convict non-commercial drivers. While driving your personal vehicle, you may escape a DUI conviction if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is less than 0.08%. While driving a commercial vehicle, however, you can be convicted of DUI if your BAC is as low as 0.04%. If you weigh 180 pounds, 0.04% is the equivalent of only two 12-ounce beers in one hour. You can also be convicted for driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance, including legal substances such as cold medicine.


Vehicle Code § 23152 (d): It is unlawful for a person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in Section 15210.


If you are convicted of DUI, even off-duty while driving your personal vehicle, you will lose your commercial driver's license—and your livelihood—for at least a year; moreover, the consequences of a DUI conviction could devastate your future job prospects. If you are arrested for DUI, contact The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs for a solid defense that can preserve your license, your career, your future and your way of life.

License Suspension

As a California commercial driver, penalties for DUI are identical to penalties applicable to non-commercial drivers, with one exception— license suspension. While a non-commercial driver whose license has been suspended is typically issued a restricted license that allows him or her to drive in the course of employment, commercial drivers will not be allowed to drive at all during a DUI license suspension. If you are convicted of a second offense, your commercial driving privileges will be permanently revoked. This can mean a loss of wages in addition to a marred reputation.

Consequently, if you have been arrested for DUI after a previous conviction, it is even more critical that you contact a criminal defense lawyer with experience defending commercial drivers charged with California DUI. To convict you, the prosecutor must prove the same facts that would justify convicting a non-commercial driver. He or she must also establish that you held a commercial driver’s license or were driving a commercial vehicle. If you refused to take a breathalyzer or blood test , you may be convicted on that basis alone.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Although the legal standard for BAC impairment is objective, there is no numerical standard of impairment for consumption of other intoxicating substances such as marijuana. If you were administered a DUI blood test because the officer suspected that you were under the influence of an intoxicating substance other than alcohol, the prosecutor will be forced to rely more heavily on subjective evidence of impairment.

This evidence can include the following:

  • The results of a field sobriety test
  • The arresting officer’s testimony
  • A video taken of you while you were being booked
  • The results of a DUI blood test, if one was administered

In Orange County, prosecution for driving under the influence of drugs is particularly problematic for commercial drivers. If you were driving a commercial vehicle, the prosecutor must only establish that your level of impairment was equal to the level of impairment of a driver with an illegal BAC.

We're Ready to Help You Fight Back

Barney Gibbs has accumulated extensive experience as a DUI attorney defending clients throughout Southern California. He is familiar with dozens of ways to beat a DUI conviction, some of which are unfamiliar to many other firms. If you would like to confidentially discuss your DUI arrest, or if you simply need more information on how California’s DUI laws apply to commercial drivers, he can set aside time to answer your questions.

Don't hesitate to take action; contact our office today to get started!