Truck drivers and other drivers who operate a vehicle over 26,001 pounds must carry a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
The CDL enables the truck driver to make money, so if that license is suspended, it could significantly impact the driver’s livelihood.
If you are at risk of having your CDL suspended, you should contact a CDL traffic attorney to find out more about your rights and what you can do to protect yourself.
CDL operators are held to special driving rules and can face strict penalties if those rules are violated. For example, in drunk driving cases, regular motorists are considered over the legal limit with a blood alcohol limit of .08%. For the CDL truck driver, the limit is only .04%. Just one beer can put you over the limit. Therefore federal regulations restrict truck drivers from drinking alcohol within four hours of when they are supposed to drive.
Certain violations will put a truck driver at risk of having the CDL suspended or revoked.
Serious Traffic Violations
There are several traffic offenses that the government considers “serious traffic violations.” Those are:
- Excessive speeding (15 miles or more over the speed limit)
- Improper lane change
- Following too closely
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving without a proper CDL
- Traffic violations that lead to fatalities
If you have two of these serious violations within three years, you could have your CDL revoked for 60 days. The revocation period is 120 days for commercial drivers who have three violations in three years.
You could lose your CDL for a year if you commit a major violation. Revocation is three years if you are transporting hazardous materials at the time of the offense.
The federal government considers the following as major violations:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Refusing a blood alcohol concentration (BA) test
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Committing a felony with a motor vehicle
- Driving on a revoked CDL
Your CDL can be revoked even if the major violation was committed while you were driving your personal vehicle. And, with two major violations, you would lose your license for good.
Losing your commercial license can have a definite impact on your ability to make money. So you should be mindful to avoid the violations that can get you in trouble. While these are violations outlined by the federal government, each state may have additional violations that you should know.