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DUI Commercial Driver Law & Defense
VC 23152(d) & VC 23153(d)
Information on the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs as a commercial driver (DUI Commercial Driver) is found at California vehicle code section 23152(d) & 23153(d).
In short, it is a violation of VC 23152(d) when a commercial driver drives a commercial vehicle while he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or a combination of both. The legal limit for commercial drivers is 0.04% alcohol by weight to blood concentration (BAC). Felony charges of DUI commercial Driver are filed when the commercial driver injures another person while DUI, or has previously suffered a felony DUI conviction within the preceding 10 years of the current offense.
DUI Commercial Driver Laws
Commercial Vehicle: A commercial vehicle includes any motor vehicle that is required to be registered as such in California, or one in which is maintained for the transportation or persons for hire, compensation, or profit, or designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.
VC 23152(d) Commercial driver with 0.04% BAC or more: 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 ... it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood (BAC) at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving (Abbrev.).
Note: VC 23152(e) makes commercial driver DUI law apply to drivers who drive passengers for hire, such as taxi drivers, Uber Drivers, Lift Drivers, etc.).
VC 23152(f): It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle. This applies to commercial drivers; however, there is no "BAC" associated with drugs as there is with alcohol. Therefore, commercial drivers with any impaired driving ability due to drugs will be n violation of this law.
VC 23152(g): It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle. This applies to commercial drivers as well as non commercial drivers.
VC 23153(d): It is unlawful for a person, while having 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle, and concurrently to do any act forbidden by law or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver. In a prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of performance of a chemical test within three hours after driving (Abbrev.).
VC 23152(d) Penalties
VC 23152(d) may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. If the defendant is convicted of felony VC 23152(d), he or she may face up to three years in jail. If the defendant is found guilty of misdemeanor VC 23152(d), he or she may face up to one year in county jail.
Probation: In some cases, the defendant may be sentenced to probation after a conviction for VC 23152(a) (felony or misdemeanor). A probation sentence is a period of supervision in lieu of an actual jail sentence. Sometimes, a term of probation will require the defendant to serve a "jail" sentence, but usually a jail sentence that is ordered as part of a probation sentence may be alternatively served on work release or house arrest (electronic Monitoring).
CIMT: Commercial driver driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not a crime involving moral turpitude
License Suspension: An arrest for driving under the influence as a commercial driver will lead to a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing (Also, called an Admin Per Se Hearing [APS]) wherein the commercial driver's privilege to continue driving will be decided. A negative outcome at the APS hearing, or the DUI criminal court, will lead to a suspended license for the commercial driver.
In addition to the penalties listed above, if convicted of VC 23152(d), the defendant could suffer any of the following punishments: fines and fees, restitution (for damage or injury), immigration or professional licensing consequences, denial of entry into the military, loss of firearm rights (for felony convictions), civil lawsuits, two points on the driver's driving record, and more.
Defense to VC 23152(d)
Common defenses to commercial driver DUI include: insufficient evidence of BAC due to lack of proper procedures in handling blood or breathalyzer evidence, illegal search and seizure (Illegal stop), insufficient evidence to prove driving, statue of limitations, and more.
Note: California Code of Regulations at Title 17 controls the legal procedures that officers and lab technicians must follow in DUI cases in order make the DUI evidence (blood and breathalyzer evidence) reliable. Sometimes, officers and lab techs do not properly follows these legal procedures and the result can create doubt as to the accuracy of the alleged DUI evidence. Also, officer must follow strict procedures in their field sobriety tests (FST) in order to render their analysis of DUI reliable.
If you have been arrested or charged with commercial driver DUI, or VC 23152(d), contact our DUI criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation.Our DUI lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of DUI and DMV cases.
Quick Reference Sheet
Crime: DUI Commercial Driver
Code: VC 23152(d) (CalCrim No. 2110 & 2111)
Wobbler: Yes. VC 23152(d) is a wobbler, which means that VC 23152(d) may be charged as a felony, or as a misdemeanor.
Incarceration: Felony VC 23152(d) jail sentence is 16 month, 2, or 3 years (if not granted probation); misdemeanor jail sentence is up 1 year.
Probation: Probation sentence might be available in some VC 23152(d) cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.
Work Release or House Arrest: In some cases, a probation sentence can include actual in-custody county jail, house arrest (electronic monitoring), or work release (or some combination of these penalties); however, most in-custody jail sentence orders that are required as a terms of probation are much shorter than the maximum jail sentence.
Strike: VC 23152(d) is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.
Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.
CIMT: VC 23152(d) is not a crime involving moral turpitude.
Firearms: Felony VC 23152(d) convictions prohibit a defendant from owning or possessing a firearm.
DL Issues: If convicted of VC 23152(d) the defendant may have his or her driver's license suspended and be required to install an interlock ignition device (IID) on any and all vehicles the driver intends to drive.
Bail: $25,000 (felony); $5,000 (misdemeanor) (San Bernardino)
Note: More penalties, direct or indirect, may apply. This info is created for that purpose only; accuracy not guaranteed. No attorney/client relationship is formed by use of this info. If arrested or charged with a crime contact a criminal defense lawyer without delay.
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