If you operate a commercial motor vehicle in the United States, you are required to maintain a current commercial driver’s license, or CDL. There are a number of state and federal regulations you must abide by or you could lose the license and your job.
Any serious traffic violations could cause you to lose your CDL, even if you are driving your own vehicle. Some of the things that fall under the “Serious Violations” heading under federal and state guidelines include
- Excessive speeding (15 miles per hour over the speed limit)
- Distracted driving
- Improper lane changes
- Driving without the proper license
- Traffic violations that lead to a fatality
- Hit and run violations
- Possessing alcohol in your vehicle
Depending on the violation, you be allowed two within the space of three years without receiving a temporary suspension. If you believe your license has been incorrectly revoked, contact a CDL traffic attorney for help.
Major Traffic Violations
No matter what you’re driving, if you are charged with a major violation, you’ll earn a minimum one-year CDL revocation. These violations include driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, using a vehicle to commit a felony, and driving a commercial motor vehicle without a current license. If you’re charged with a second violation, you could lose your license permanently. There are a couple of major violations that lead to permanent CDL disqualification, such as using a commercial vehicle for human trafficking or for using the vehicle for controlled substance distribution.
It’s important to understand that you have more regulations as a CMV operator than as a regular driver. In addition to the standard sets of rules that other drivers follow, you are also required to stop at and obey all railroad crossings or risk an expensive CDL revocation. You’re also responsible for making sure that the vehicle you’re driving isn’t “out-of-service.” If the out-of-service criteria applies to your commercial vehicle or if there are physical conditions that make it unsafe for your vehicle to be in operation (including natural weather hazards), you could lose your CDL qualification.
CDL-related cases can be complicated and difficult to overcome. However, if you’ve been accused of committing a serious or major traffic violation, you can still plead your case with an experienced attorney. Make sure you understand the laws and regulations that apply in every state where you drive, so you can protect yourself from the loss of your license and your livelihood.