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Los Angeles Commercial Driver DUI Attorneys



Defending Commercial Drivers Against Los Angeles DUI Charges

Due to the heavy responsibilities you bear, commercial drivers are held to a much higher standard than drivers of regular passenger vehicles. You may be arrested for DUI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04%, as compared to .08% for other drivers.

The consequences of a DUI conviction are more severe for commercial drivers. You must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a large vehicle such as a tractor-trailer, and a DUI conviction could cost you your livelihood as well as your freedom.

Los Angeles is a major metropolis with some of the most highly-traveled freeways in the world, including the I-5, I-405, I-105, and, of course, the Hollywood Freeway, California State Route 170. Big rig truckers are the lifeblood of the city, essential for transporting goods and getting them to the people. Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP will protect your career so you can get back to performing the important work you do.

Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP is one of the most prominent criminal defense firms in the country. Our firm is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, their highest rating for ethical standards and legal ability. We’ve also been recognized by Super Lawyers for providing clients with superior service. We’ve handled several high-profile cases, and our attorneys have been featured on ABC News, CNBC, Fox News, Esquire, the BBC, and the Los Angeles Times.

Call (213) 688-0460 to schedule a case review today.

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What Is the Legal Definition of Commercial Driver DUI?

The law states, under California Vehicle Code Section 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. . . 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 the performance of a chemical test within three hours after driving.”

It does not take much alcohol consumption to reach a BAC of .04%. Depending on weight, height, and other factors, a person could have a BAC of .04% after consuming one alcoholic beverage within one to two hours before a blood or breath test.

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What Are the Consequences of Commercial Driver DUI Conviction?

If you have been charged with a DUI, your career is in jeopardy. Commercial drivers convicted of DUI face criminal and administrative penalties, along with other serious consequences. You will not be eligible for a restricted license like passenger vehicle drivers who have been charged with DUI.

Penalties for conviction after a first offense may include:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • One-year suspension of your CDL
  • Mandatory DUI classes
  • Drug and alcohol counseling
  • Loss of employment

If convicted of DUI causing injury, a commercial driver may face felony charges. Truckers hauling dangerous cargo at the time of a DUI arrest may have their CDL suspended for three years. A second DUI conviction in any vehicle could lead to permanent loss of your CDL.

Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, employers must disqualify drivers convicted of a DUI offense. Trucking companies are prohibited from knowingly allowing or authorizing a disqualified driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

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Legal Defenses Against Commercial Driver DUI Charges

As in any DUI case, prosecutors must prove the charges against commercial drivers. The case will be based on many factors, including the testimony of the arresting officer, the arrest report, and the results of chemical testing, which are notoriously unreliable. Our Los Angeles commercial driver DUI lawyers will raise objections based on the unique circumstances of your case.

Common DUI defenses include:

  • Lack of probable cause: The arresting officer did not have reasonable suspicion to justify pulling you over, which means your arrest was based on an illegal stop. It’s also possible that the officer did not have a legal justification for arresting you.
  • False positive BAC: Breathalyzer tests use infrared light technology that cannot differentiate between methanol and many other chemical compounds. A false positive may result from several factors, including diabetes, fasting, GERD, mouthwash, smoking, a Keto diet, and eating bread products.
  • Improper testing: The arresting officer or the person who administered the test at the station may not have the proper training and knowledge to operate a breathalyzer test correctly, and they may not have followed the necessary protocols.
  • Breathalyzer error: A breathalyzer test is a sensitive piece of equipment that requires the right programming, regular testing, and periodic recalibration to work correctly.
  • Failure to maintain breathalyzer records: The law requires police departments to keep records of the results of breathalyzer tests to make sure it is providing consistent results.
  • Inaccurate lab results: Laboratories frequently mishandle and misinterpret the evidence. Your defense attorney will review the chain of custody of your sample, and we may also call into question the performance of the lab that provided evidence against you.

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What Happens When You Get Arrested for DUI?

After you have been arrested for DUI, it is essential to secure legal representation as quickly as possible. Your attorney will review the police report, interview witnesses, collect physical and forensic evidence, analyze BAC test results, and consult with expert witnesses so they can develop the best legal strategy to defend you.

There will be a hearing where you are required to enter a plea, and you will want to have an attorney by your side to advise you on the best course of action. There will also be a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest.

It’s important to take the following steps to help protect your freedom and maintain your CDL:

  • Seek the services of an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney.
  • Don’t speak with police or prosecutors unless your attorney is present.
  • Make sure your attorney is present for all legal proceedings.
  • Allow your attorney to do all the negotiating with prosecutors and judges.
  • Be polite and respectful during court appearances.

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Contact a Los Angeles Defense Attorney if You Have Been Arrested for DUI

Our experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyers at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP will find the best legal strategy to get the charges against you dismissed or reduced so you can maintain your freedom and hold onto your CDL.

Our attorneys will challenge the accuracy of the prosecution’s case at every opportunity, including blood, breath, and field sobriety tests, the arresting officer’s motives when pulling you over, and the overall validity of the case against you.

Call (213) 688-0460 right away if you are facing commercial DUI charges.

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Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP Today
Phone: (213) 688-0460
Fax: (213) 624-1942

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