A CDL in California allows you to operate commercial vehicles such as city buses, big rigs, dump trucks and more. Because your job requires you to drive a large vehicle you uphold the responsibility to stay vigilant and attentive at all times.
Getting a DUI can immediately stall your career and prevent you from maintaining your CDL. If you have the chance to get it back eventually, it could take years for you to satisfy all of the legal requirements.
As in most other states across the United States, California law prohibits you from having a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08. Anything higher than that can result in a DUI. However, this restriction is lower when you have a CDL license. According to the State of California, Department of Motor Vehicles, your BAC cannot exceed 0.04 in a commercial vehicle.
Even if charged with a DUI in your personal vehicle, you could still have your CDL license suspended. Losing your license is arguably the biggest challenge of a DUI, but even more so if you rely on your ability to drive for your job.
The consequences of a DUI will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding it. Some factors that could influence your outcome include the type of vehicle you drive, the location of your DUI, the impact of your decision on other people, property damage and whether or not you have any previous DUIs on your record.
You might have the chance to negotiate with your employer to accept a temporary role while you have no license. However, if you have to give up your job because of a DUI, there are resources to help you identify transferrable skills and find another job. Eventually, you can work toward reapplying for your CDL.