November 1, 2022 By Matthew Wallin

Can You Get a CDL With a DUI in Southern California?

The DUI laws in Southern California are very strict, and the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be severe. However, for those holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL), a license to carry goods or passengers,  the penalties are even more severe. 

If you are convicted of a DUI with a CDL, you may face jail time, fines, probation, and the loss of your driver’s license. If anyone is injured or killed, you face an even harsher punishment. 

That’s why it’s crucial to contact our experienced Southern California Defense attorneys as soon as possible. WKDUI has decades of experience defending DUI cases, and many of those involved CDLs. We will fight to protect your rights and help you maintain your commercial driver’s license (CDL) if at all possible. 

Let’s discuss the legal definition and penalties for a DUI with a CDL in California, as well as some of the violations that can get you disqualified from applying for or obtaining a CDL. in California. Then we’ll talk about the best way to avoid losing your CDL. 

California’s Harsh DUI Laws for CDL Drivers

Under Vehicle Code 23152(d), the police can charge a CDL driver with a commercial DUI with a blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) of .04% or higher. However, this law only applies if you were operating a commercial vehicle, like a semi-truck, Uber, taxi, moving truck, etc. 

But if you weren’t driving a commercial vehicle, then you will be charged with a violation of Section 23152(a) VC unless people were injured. 

Note: Any type of DUI counts against your record whether commercial or otherwise. 

Penalties for First DUI with a CDL 

Your first DUI conviction with a CDL carries much more harsh penalties in California, including but not limited to: 

  • License suspension for one year
  • Ban from restricted driving privileges
  • Possible loss of your license. 

More than One DUI Conviction – Lifetime Ban on CDL in California 

If you are convicted of two DUIs in California, you will be banned from applying for a CDL in California. This includes DUI convictions from other states. For example, if you previously lived in Washington and were convicted of a DUI, then you move to California and get convicted of driving under the influence again. You are automatically banned from applying for a CDL in California. 

Factors that Disqualify You From Obtaining a DUI in California 

There are a few things that could disqualify you from getting a CDL in California. These include:

  • A DUI or other drug-related offense within the past 10 years
  • No valid driver’s license from any state
  • Under 21 years of age
  • Serious moving violations, such as reckless driving or leaving the scene of an accident, within the past 3 years
  • Not being able to pass a DOT physical examination
  • A suspended or revoked CDL within the past 3 years

If you have any of these offenses on your record, you may not be able to get a CDL in California. However, there may be some exceptions depending on the offense and when it occurred. It is always best to check with the California DMV and an experienced attorney to see if you are eligible for a CDL in California.

The Best Way To Avoid Losing CDL – Fight Conviction & Protect Your Rights

Even if you don’t lose your CDL permanently, it’s important to realize that you’re driving record alone can disqualify you from many jobs. Employers look at your driving record as one of the main factors when choosing whether or not to hire you. 

So the best way to avoid losing your job or CDL is to protect your right and fight to prove your innocence. We know how to highlight weaknesses in the DA’s case, starting with the arrest. 

We also offer both in-house and third-party financing, which allows you to afford a DUI attorney that fits your budget. You can apply for our payment plans online or learn more during your free consultation. 

Contact Experienced DUI Lawyers Today 

Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have the experience and skills that you need on your side. We’ve successfully defeated DUI convictions in many past cases, including very complex ones. With us on your side, you can walk into court confidently, knowing we’re there to help. Contact WKLawDUI today at (714) 386-7040  for your free consultation.

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