blog home DUI DUI in a Bus or Multi-Passenger Vehicle

DUI in a Bus or Multi-Passenger Vehicle

By San Diego Attorney on February 25, 2023

Any DUI charge can be a very serious legal problem – but when the incident involves a bus or other multi-passenger vehicle, the consequences are worse. The driver of a bus or multi-passenger vehicle is held to a higher standard, as these drivers are responsible for the lives of many other people.

Charged with DUI while operating a commercial passenger vehicle? Call our San Diego criminal defense lawyer immediately at (760) 630-2000.

Regular Drivers vs. Commercial Drivers and DUI

A driver of a regular vehicle can face DUI charges if found to be over the limit of .08 BAC (blood alcohol content). They will face the loss of the legal right to drive, jail time, fines, and alcohol education classes, even in a misdemeanor, first time DUI. The penalties are increased in cases in which an accident, injury, or death is linked to the actions of a drunk driver. In the most extreme cases, a regular driver can be charged with felony vehicular manslaughter or second degree murder, with a prison sentence as long as 15 years.

Commercial Drivers and Breath Testing

A commercial driver can face DUI charges when the BAC registers at .04 or higher – which can occur after consuming a single drink. In a first-time DUI for a commercial driver, the penalties imposed can include:

  • Commercial driver’s license suspension for a minimum of one year
  • Job loss due to inability to legally drive a bus or other multi-passenger vehicle
  • Up to six months in county jail
  • Three month court-approved, mandatory DUI education
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

It should be noted that any driver with a commercial driver’s license who is convicted of a second DUI offense will lose their commercial driver’s license for life, and even in a first DUI conviction, will be restricted from operating such a vehicle for a full year.

Bus Drivers and DUI Injury Accidents

When the driver of a bus or other multi-passenger vehicle is involved in an accident and is found to be over the legal limit of .04 BAC, the penalties can include:

  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Mandatory attendance to DUI school for 18 to 30 months
  • Five year license revocation in the state

Types of Multi-Passenger Vehicles and CDL DUI Charges

A DUI charge can be filed against a driver operating any of the following types of commercial vehicles:

  • School buses
  • Tour buses
  • Church buses
  • Passenger vans or other vehicle carrying more than 10 passengers

After an Arrest for DUI for Commercial Drivers – What to Expect?

An arrest and charge for DUI can occur when a passenger on the vehicle contacts police to report a driver who they feel is operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner, or when a law enforcement officer observes some type of concerning driving behavior, or after a collision. The driver will be questioned by police and required to undergo a breath or blood test. Any bus driver who refuses to take the test will have their license suspended for one year and will be incarcerated.

If you, as a driver of a bus or other multi-passenger vehicle are being accused of operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination, your first call should be to retain a San Diego DUI defense lawyer from jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys. While awaiting your lawyer, exercise your right to remain silent, and do not engage in conversations with law enforcement, or answer any questions. Your words and actions could be used against you.

Defending Against DUI Charges for Commercial Drivers – What Are Your Options?

Several issues can be investigated to defend against DUI charges, which include:

  • Faulty administration of breath or blood testing
  • Lab procedure errors
  • Diet or medical conditions that can produce a false high BAC
  • Driver stopped without probable cause
  • Errors in any aspect of police procedure during the arrest
  • Faulty testing device, lack of proper and required maintenance

Arrested and Charged? Call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys in San Diego

Your future ability to work and earn a living can be lost if you are convicted of driving a bus or multi-passenger vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The founder of jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys in San Diego, James N. Dicks, has a background serving as a Los Angeles Police Department investigator and is a Criminal Law Specialist, certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Drawing upon his years of experience as a police officer and narcotics investigator, Mr. Dicks is also a DRE (drug recognition expert), who stays at the leading edge in the latest developments in the field.

At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, defending San Diego DUIs is among our primary concerns. The firm offers a free initial consultation and delivers defense counsel and assistance in both Spanish and English. Call (760) 630-2000 today.

Related Articles:

Posted in: DUI

Don’t Waste Any Time!
Call us today for a FREE Consultation
(760) 630-2000

James N. Dicks

About James N. Dicks

Don’t Waste Any Time!

Time is of the essence when your future is in jeopardy.
Contact jD LAW today for the aggressive defense you need.