CDL Violations And DUIs | What Every Commercial Driver Should Know

Every truck driver knows that a ticket or a DUI charge can destroy one’s career and life. When your livelihood depends on your commercial driver’s license (CDL), then there’s a lot at stake. This can happen before or during your time as a truck driver. So, what can you do? What might happen to your career, and can you get it back? By choosing W. Shane Jennings as your CDL license violation lawyer, you may potentially save your professional future.

Previous DUI Charges And Their Effect

We’ve all had to make some life changes at some point or another. We’re less likely to be the same person we were five or ten years ago. So, what if you made a mistake when you were young? Well, there are a few things to consider at that point. First, you must complete your probationary period. This includes clearing any money you owe for the charge. If enough time has passed, then you can obtain your standard license. Once all of this has cleared, you can begin the process of getting a CDL. However, it’s up to your potential employers to look past your previous record. 

Violations To Watch Out For 

A CDL license can get suspended much more easily than a standard license. Due to the responsibilities that CDL drivers have, it doesn’t matter in which state you get pulled over. No matter if it was with your standard license or CDL, any event can result in violations. If you do get in trouble, contact your employer as soon as possible and no later than 30 days after the event. 

Anyone with a CDL should watch out for common violations. Although they are easily avoidable, they may affect your ability to have a commercial driver’s license if they occur. 

The following count as serious traffic violations:

  • Speeding (15 MPH or more over the legal speed limit)
  • Reckless driving 
  • Improper or careless lane changes 
  • Following too closely 
  • Accidents that result in a fatality 

If one of these does happen, you can lose your CDL for at least 60 days if two serious violations have occurred within a three-year period. If you have committed three serious traffic violations within three years, then you could lose your license for a minimum of 120 days. To regain your CDL after these violations, you must pay a reissue fee and proof of financial responsibility insurance certificate. 

Major CDL Offenses 

If a major offense happens, you may lose your CDL for one to three years, depending on if you have hazardous materials with you. A second major offense can result in losing your CDL for life. Major violations can count even if you weren’t driving a CDL required vehicle. That’s right; even having a major violation in your personal vehicle can affect your commercial driver career. Major offenses include the following: 

  • Driving a commercial moving vehicle (CMV) under the influence of a controlled substance
  • Driving with a blood alcohol limit of 0.04% in your CMV
  • Refusing to take tests for blood alcohol when asked 
  • Operating a CMV with a disqualified, suspended, or revoked CDL 
  • Leaving the scene of an accident that involved your CMV
  • Using a commercial vehicle to commit any felony

You can retrieve your CDL if you get a DUI for the first time. You’ll need to take and pass the CDL knowledge test and driving tests as well as gaining a hazardous materials endorsement. You might present a letter to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that also shows you passed their background check. Then it just comes down to paying the requalification fee. 

Federal CDL Suspension 

Since most CDL drivers have to cross state lines, a suspension can fall under federal law. This means that your CDL can get suspended from anywhere from 60 days to life. This can happen for violations or convictions like DUI.

Shane Jennings CDL Defense 

We know the importance of the people who use CDL’s for their job. If anything has happened to you as a CDL driver and your license is on the line, give us a call. Losing your income can be devastating, and we want to help get you back on track. We work with your case to provide the best possible outcome.

Attorney W. Shane Jennings understands the ins and outs of New Mexico CDL laws. Don’t wait to call us. Start the process as soon as an offense has occurred so that we can start your case. Find out how we can help your case and put you back to work and on the road!