If you have a Commercial Driver’s License and were recently issued a traffic ticket, your response to the ticket may determine the fate of your CDL career.
Truck drivers, chauffeurs, or other jobs that require commercial licensure are usually held to a higher standard than others when pulled over by the police. It is important to remember that the consequences of a traffic ticket reach far beyond the initial financial penalty. If uncontested, your traffic ticket could result in increased insurance rates, job loss, and even revocation of your CDL license.
Everyone should carefully consider the consequences of mailing in a payment or requesting traffic school in response to a traffic citation. If you have a CDL, you should strongly consider consulting a lawyer before accepting the penalties of a traffic ticket. Your job may depend on it.
CDL Traffic Ticket Penalties: Serious Vs. Major Violations
While a first serious traffic violation does not usually result in CDL license revocation, multiple documented serious traffic offenses could result in a 60-day disqualification of your license. If those offenses occurred within three years, you may be subject to a 120-day license suspension.
In Illinois, serious offenses that could result in serious consequences for CDL drivers include the following:
- Operating a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL
- Texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle
- Driving 15 mph or more above the speed limit
- Transporting alcohol in the passenger’s seat of a vehicle
- Failure to yield to the right-of-way of a pedestrian
- Other instances of reckless driving
Illinois law distinguishes between serious and major traffic offenses. Any major traffic offense could result in CDL license suspension for a minimum of one year. A second major traffic offense could lead to lifetime CDL revocation.
Major offenses that could apply to CDL drivers include the following:
- Committing a felony while operating a vehicle
- Driving a CMV with a blood alcohol concentration higher than .04
- Failure to stop and exchange information after a collision
- Driving a CMV after you CDL has been revoked or suspended
- Negligent CMV operation that results in death or injury
Other violations that could have big consequences for CDL drivers include Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing (RRHGC) violations and violations related to load-weight, vehicle length, or driving a CDL in a restricted area.
Contact an Experienced Traffic Lawyer Today
CDL drivers face a different, harsher set of standards than other drivers. It’s never a bad idea to consult with a traffic lawyer after receiving a ticket, but CDL drivers have extra incentive to do so. If you pay the fine without contesting the ticket, your CDL license could be suspended or revoked. An experienced traffic attorney will review the circumstances of your ticket and construct a persuasive and aggressive defense to protect your job security for years to come.