A bus driver for a wine tour in Healdsburg, California has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. According to people on the tour, they returned to the bus following a wine tour to find the bus driver passed out behind the wheel. While the passengers had a difficult time waking the driver, they did not know if he was just sleeping or passed out due to intoxication, so they decided to board the bus. While on the highway, the driver was having a hard time staying in his lane and nearly hit a semi-truck. The passengers eventually convinced the driver to pull off of the highway and were met by the California Highway Patrol who found signs of alcohol impairment. The driver, driving under a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), has a previous conviction of DUI within the last ten years.
Driving Under the Influence with a CDL in Washington State
Washington residents who carry CDLs are held to a higher standard as they are often driving larger-than-average vehicles or typically have passengers in their vehicles. While CDL carriers must still, of course, adhere to the standard DUI law in Washington, there are specific penalties and laws in place when an individual with a CDL is convicted of DUI, especially if they were arrested for a DUI while operating a commercial motor vehicle. A person in Washington “may not drive, operate, or be in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle while having alcohol or THC in his or her system.”
Washington law allows for implied consent to test CDL drivers. Which means an officer may test the breath of any person operating a commercial vehicle to check for any amount of alcohol concentration. There are legal procedures in place when such a test is going to be administered, for example:
- “A test may be administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer, who after stopping or detaining the commercial motor vehicle driver, has reasonable grounds to believe that driver was driving a commercial motor vehicle while having alcohol in his or her system or while under the influence of any drug.
- The law enforcement officer requesting the test shall warn the person requested to submit to the test that a refusal to submit will result in that person being disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
- If the person refuses testing, or a test is administered that discloses an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more or any measurable amount of THC concentration, the law enforcement officer shall submit a sworn report to the department certifying that the test was requested and that the person refused to submit to testing, or a test was administered that disclosed an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more or any measurable amount of THC concentration.”
You Need an Experienced DUI Lawyer
If you have been arrested for a commercial DUI, you need the help of an experienced DUI lawyer. CDL drivers can easily lose their livelihood if they do not take action to fight their charges immediately. First-time offenders can face up to a one-year suspension of their CDL license and a second-time offense can earn you a lifetime suspension. That could mean the loss of your career. The Law Offices of Steve Karimi are here to help. Steve Karimi is a former King County prosecutor who now uses his legal skill to fight for those accused. Mr. Karimi will stop at nothing to defend your rights.