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What are the DUI penalties for truck drivers?

While all drivers will be penalized for operating their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, if you are an operator with a commercial driver’s license, you must adhere to stricter rules than those driving a regular passenger vehicle. The State of California Department of Motor Vehicles details the laws that CDL drivers must follow and the penalties that may be invoked if those rules are broken.


First, while other motorists are held to a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content level, truck drivers will be ticketed if they are found operating with a BAC higher than 0.04 percent. If you have any trace of alcohol while driving but it is under 0.04 percent, you will be put out of service for 24 hours.


If CDL operators are charged with drunk driving, they are subject to a one year disqualification of their licenses. This can be disastrous if your license is part of your livelihood. If you are convicted for a first offense and then repeats the same offense, you may be eligible for a lifetime disqualification.


Drivers who are transporting hazardous materials have even stricter guidelines and are subject to a license disqualification of three years if they are convicted of drunk driving, refuse a breath or blood test, or are ticketed with driving under the influence of drugs. You can also have your license permanently disqualified if you are convicted of using your vehicle to distribute or manufacture illegal drugs. The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.

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