If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and you make a mistake on the road, not only can you face fines and rising insurance rates — your livelihood may be threatened. If you are charged with a traffic violation, it is essential that you hire an attorney who can protect you from a loss of your job and income.
Commercial Drivers and Penalties for Traffic Violations
Pennsylvania regulations are more stringent for drivers with CDLs than for other motorists.
For a first offense, your CDL can be suspended or revoked for at least a year if you:
- Drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a blood alcohol level of .04 or higher
- Drive a CMV under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances
- Refuse a blood alcohol test
- Drive a CMV while your CDL is suspended, revoked, cancelled or recalled
- Commit a felony with a CMV
- Leave the scene of an accident and failing to report it
- Have an accident that causes injury or death with a CMV
- Cause damage to an unoccupied vehicle or property with a CMV
For a second offense of any of the above, you may lose your CDL for life.
For the first offense of any of the above committed, while you are operating a CMV placarded with transporting hazardous materials, you will lose your CDL for three years.
For a felony that involves your CMV and controlled substances, you can lose your CDL for life.
For committing two serious traffic violations with your CMV in a three-year period, you can lose your CDL for 60 days or more.
For committing three serious traffic violations in three years, you can lose your CDL for 120 days.
In Pennsylvania, Commercial Driver License holders are required by law to notify their employers within 30 days of receiving a traffic violation. This can affect your ability to get a promotion or keep your job. If you were looking for a new job, it will make it tougher for you to do so.
The National Driver Register
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created the National Driver Register to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities, particularly where CDL drivers have been convicted of serious traffic violations or had their licenses revoked or suspended. This list is serious and could mean that your driver’s license application in a different state will be denied or revoked for renewal.
Speak to a Pittsburgh CDL Traffic Lawyer Today
The first thing to do after you’ve been charged with a Pennsylvania Commercial Driver’s License traffic violation is to look over what the listed violation is, as well as the fines. Also double check your name, address, date of birth, vehicle information, and license number. If something is wrong, contact the court to get it corrected. A misspelling of your name won’t get you out of a ticket.
You should also know that you have 10 days to respond to the traffic citation. If you ignore it, you may have additional fines and a driver’s license suspension to contend with.
A final thing to do if you’ve been charged with a traffic violation and you possess a CDL is to contact an attorney. An experienced Pittsburgh traffic defense lawyer can help you fight your ticket. It’s important for commercial drivers and truckers to have clean driving records to maintain employment as well as commercial driver’s insurance coverage.