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Order of Disqualification (1 year)

What is a Lifetime Order of Disqualification?   The one-year Order of Disqualification is an official order from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that is issued to Commercial Class “A” and Class “B” drivers who have been convicted of a first violation of certain crimes. If the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues a one-year disqualification, it literally means the accused driver is not permitted to operate commercial vehicles for a period of 365 days.

It is further important to note that the first offense violation need not occur while operating a commercial vehicle.  For example, being convicted of a first offense DUI while driving a family sedan will cause a Commercial Class “A” driver to suffer a one-year disqualification to operate commercial vehicles.

Why does the DMV issue one-year Disqualifications?

Commercial drivers who hold Class “A” or Class “B” driver licenses are held to higher standards than regular “everyday” drivers.  Because they are professionally trained and because they tend to operate a class of vehicle that requires a greater degree of trust, the commercial driver is punished more severely if they violate certain sections of the law, even for the first time.

California Vehicle Code Section 15300, determines:

A driver shall not operate a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one year if the driver is convicted of a first violation of any of the following:

(1) Subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 23152 while operating a motor vehicle (DUI).

(2) Subdivision (d) of Section 23152 (DUI in a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04% or greater).

(3) Subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 23153 while operating a motor vehicle (Felony DUI)

(4) Subdivision (d) of Section 23153 (Felony DUI in a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04% or greater.

(5) Leaving the scene of an accident involving a motor vehicle operated by the driver.

(6) Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony, other than a felony described in Section 15304.

(7) Driving a commercial motor vehicle when the driver s commercial driver s license is revoked, suspended, or canceled based on the driver s operation of a commercial motor vehicle or when the driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle based on the driver s operation of a commercial motor vehicle.

(8) Causing a fatality involving conduct defined pursuant to Section 191.5 of the Penal Code or subdivision (c) of Section 192 of the Penal Code.

(9) While operating a motor vehicle, refuses to submit to, or fails to complete, a chemical test or tests in violation of Section 23612.

(10) A violation of Section 2800.1, 2800.2, or 2800.3 that involves a commercial motor vehicle.

(b) If a violation listed in subdivision (a), or a violation listed in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 13350 or Section 13352 or 13357, occurred while transporting a hazardous material, the period specified in subdivision (a) shall be three years.

What happens now that I have been disqualified to operate a commercial vehicle for one year?

The unfortunate truth is that being issued this type of disqualification does temporarily bar you from operating commercial vehicles for a period of 365 days.  You may consider either of the appellate processes available to you, [Request for Administrative Review or Writ of Mandate], but assuming those are not favorable, you are literally stripped of your privilege to operate commercial vehicles for one year.

Being disqualified to operate a commercial vehicle for one-year does not, however, directly impact a person’s privilege to operate Class “C” vehicles.  Once the driver has served any suspension period required following a conviction, that driver may downgrade to a Class “C” driver license and then reapply for his Class “A” license once the one-year period has lapsed.    In short, the one-year ban does not apply to Class “C” vehicles.

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