If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) you are automatically subjected to stricter rules and regulations. You may also face harsher penalties for traffic violations and other offenses. If you are convicted of a ‘major violation’, whether you are driving your personal vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), you will be immediately disqualified from operating a CMV for one year. One of the most common major violations for individuals with CDLs is driving while intoxicated (DWI). Contact a Boston DWI Lawyer Today.
Major violations for CDL Holders
CDL violations are classified as major or serious. Major violations are the greater of the two and result in immediate suspension, revocation, or lifetime loss of a driver’s CDL. Serious violations can also result in suspension, revocation, or lifetime loss, however, this typically only occurs on a cumulative basis. Examples of major violations include:
Being charged with a DUI, DWI, or OUI while operating your personal motor vehicle
Operating a CMV with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher
Refusing to submit to an alcohol test
The first major violation will result in a one-year suspension of your CDL. However, if you were transporting hazardous materials at the time of the violation, you may receive a three-year suspension. The second major violation will result in a lifetime suspension of your CDL, but certain reinstatement options may be available after ten years.
Any Amount of Alcohol Can Affect Your Ability to Operate a CMV
It is also important to note that if you are caught driving a CMV with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system, but less than 0.04%, you will be required to go out of service for at least 24 hours.
The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999
You don’t have to be driving a commercial vehicle to lose your CDL for DWI. If you get charged with any kind of drug or alcohol offense, the charges will result in a suspension of your CDL as well. This suspension or revocation is above and beyond the standard fines and penalties for DWI charges. You may lose your personal driver’s license, spend time in jail, and face hefty fines. The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 establishes the following guidelines for CDL holders:
If a driver’s personal vehicle license is suspended or revoked due to an alcohol violation, the CDL will be revoked for one year.
If a driver receives a second alcohol conviction, the CDL will be revoked for life.
If you have a CDL, with the exception of parking violations, all traffic violations must be reported to your employer within 30 days. In addition, depending on the severity of your charges and your history, criminal penalties may apply. Continue reading