Commercial vehicle operators in Santa Barbara are subject to a higher level of oversight than other drivers. California laws are incredibly rigorous for commercial vehicle drivers who are found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. A DUI conviction in Santa Barbara may result in a driver's loss of their commercial driver's license (CDL) if not handled effectively. As a commercial vehicle driver, a loss of your CDL may have a significant impact on your employment and wellbeing.
Should you find yourself in this situation, a Santa Barbara commercial DUI lawyer with the Aron Law Firm may help you fight to protect your best interests and achieve the most favorable outcome possible. When you partner with our Santa Barbara CDL DUI attorneys, rest assured knowing that we work vigorously to help fight your DUI charges and maintain your CDL so you may move forward in your career.
Possible Effects of a DUI on a Commercial Driver in Santa Barbara
Commercial drivers convicted of a DUI in Santa Barbara may be subject to criminal and administrative penalties. In other words, a DUI conviction may lead to adverse criminal consequences and a potential suspension or loss of a driver's commercial license.
Commercial drivers may face these implications if they are caught in any of the following acts:
- Driving a commercial vehicle with a 0.04% or higher BAC
- Driving a non-commercial vehicle with a 0.08% or higher BAC
- Operating any vehicle while impaired by drugs, controlled substances, or alcohol
While all drivers must not exceed a BAC of 0.08% before getting behind the wheel, commercial drivers are held to a higher standard under California's Vehicle Code § 23152(d), which stipulates their BAC must be lower than 0.04%.
What Are Potential Penalties for a CDL DUI in Santa Barbara?
A first-time DUI may result in a CDL operator in Santa Barbara facing the following criminal penalties:
- Summary (informal) probation
- Up to one year in jail
- Fines up to $1,000
- Up to 36 months of California DUI school
A second or subsequent DUI conviction for a CDL holder in Santa Barbara may require even more stringent penalties. According to California's Vehicle Code § 23153, a repeat CDL DUI may result in felony charges, whether they were driving a personal or commercial vehicle.
May I Lose My CDL Permanently for a DUI in Santa Barbara?
In Santa Barbara, commercial drivers are subject to harsh penalties for misjudgments made behind the wheel. Depending on circumstances surrounding the DUI arrest, penalties may become even more stringent. For instance, if a commercial driver was carrying dangerous cargo when they were stopped and arrested for a DUI, they may be subject to a three-year license suspension.
A commercial driver may lose their CDL permanently in some cases. It's important to note that whether driving a personal car or a commercial semi-truck, the following circumstances may lead to a permanent loss of a California CDL:
- A second conviction for driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or controlled substances, in any vehicle
- A conviction for any crime that is linked to a controlled substance while driving a commercial vehicle
While these penalties are severe, the Santa Barbara commercial DUI lawyers with the Aron Law Firm will work tirelessly to lessen the impact of the penalties you may face.
Defending a DUI as a Commercial Driver in Santa Barbara
While the penalties may be significant for commercial drivers convicted of a DUI, this does not have to mean the end of a career or permanent loss of license. There are several defense strategies an experienced CDL DUI attorney may employ to protect your innocence.
The Aron Law Firm's seasoned commercial DUI defense lawyers may devise a thoughtful strategy to refute the prosecution's assertion that you were driving—an essential element of the DUI charge. The following may also be available in your defense:
- Breach of the procedure. Law enforcement must follow specific protocols at every stage of a DUI arrest. If the arresting police officer violated any of these rules when stopping and arresting you, your lawyer may use proof of this to develop a defense.
- Inaccurate test results. Police officers must measure BAC levels before making an arrest by administering a breath or blood test. Several conditions may alter test results and make them inaccurate. Failing to recalibrate the machines appropriately, for example, may yield false BAC readings. In that case, your attorney may present evidence to discredit the breath or blood test findings.
If you're a commercial driver facing a DUI charge in Santa Barbara, the Aron Law Firm's commercial DUI defense attorneys are here to help. Having a knowledgeable CDL DUI defense lawyer on your side may offer you the best possible chance of achieving the most favorable outcome to your case.
Speak with an Experienced Santa Barbara Commercial Driver DUI Attorney Today
A DUI arrest in Santa Barbara is challenging to navigate alone. A CDL DUI has harsher consequences that may be even more challenging to manage if you face them without a skilled DUI defense lawyer. At the Aron Law Firm, our experienced and highly regarded Santa Barbara commercial DUI defense attorneys are ready to help you fight these charges to help you move forward without the weight of a criminal record of loss of license.
If you've been arrested for a DUI on a CDL in Santa Barbara, do not delay contacting the Aron Law Firm to learn your legal rights and what defense methods are available to you. Schedule a confidential case review today by completing a contact form or calling 805-618-1768.