If you drive a truck for a living, your commercial driver license (CDL) is your livelihood. When a driving infraction threatens your license, you have to fight that ticket or lose your job. If you’ve been cited for speeding, even if you were driving your own car at the time, your CDL could be in jeopardy. The speeding ticket could trigger a disqualification, or a disqualification could come with the next moving violation. Here’s what you need to know about traffic infractions that disqualify you from commercial driving.

The following are major offenses that can result in a one-year disqualification no matter what type of vehicle you were driving at the time, and a three-year disqualification if you are driving a hazmat vehicle:

  • DUI
  • Refusing to submit to a chemical test
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Using a vehicle to commit a felony
  • Using a vehicle to commit a drug felony (lifetime disqualification)
  • Driving a CMV with a revoked or suspended CDL
  • Negligent operation of a CMV that causes a fatality

Serious offenses do not automatically disqualify the driver. But two convictions in a three-year period result in a 60-day CMV disqualification. The third conviction in a three-year period brings on a 120-day disqualification. Serious offenses include:

  • Speeding at more than 15 miles per hour above the limit
  • Reckless driving
  • Improper or erratic lane changes
  • Following too closely
  • Driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL
  • Texting while driving a CMV
  • Use of handheld phone while driving a CMV
  • Violations of safety laws pertaining to road construction or a fatal accident

Violations at a railroad-highway crossing while operating a CMV will also result in disqualification as follows:

  • First offense — 60-day disqualification
  • Second offense within a three-year period — 120-day disqualification
  • Third and subsequent offense — One-year disqualification

Traffic offenses are never simple matters for drivers whose careers depend on their CDL. Given the danger of disqualification, CDL holders must fight every ticket aggressively with the assistance of an experienced defense attorney.

Matthew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law manages defense for traffic offenses in the Somerset, PA area. Call 814-443-1631 or contact my office online to schedule a consultation.