To put it bluntly, losing your CDL license can represent an enormous hardship. After all, most drivers with commercial driver’s licenses have them for a reason. For some, it’s that they are operating certain size vehicles. For many, it’s that maintaining a CDL is a requirement for their job. The bottom line is that without a CDL, your income could greatly suffer.
Commercial driver’s licenses are mandatory in a number of professions. According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, you need a CDL if you are a bus operator or a truck driver. In some cases, you may even need a commercial driver’s license if you’re driving a passenger van. If you’re worried that your CDL could be revoked or suspended, you are most likely already familiar with the distinctions between Class A, Class B, and Class C licenses.
CDL License Violations
All things considered, those who hold commercial licenses are subject to enhanced scrutiny as professional drivers. The obvious reason is that larger size vehicles imply more risk. Similarly, if you are transporting passengers or hazardous materials, safety is of the utmost importance.
Take for example speeding. Just about everyone speeds down the New Jersey Turnpike. More than likely, you have time deadlines to meet. However, a speeding ticket for a CDL license holder puts you at risk for license suspension. In fact, speeding 15 miles over the limit is considered a serious offense. Some other violations that are considered serious in New Jersey include:
- Reckless driving
- Improper Lane Change
- Tailgating, also known as following too closely
- Any violation resulting in a Fatal Accident
You can get a traffic ticket for a multitude of reasons. However, if you are convicted of at least two of these offenses within three years, your CDL can be suspended for 60 days. Additionally, three convictions during a three year period means a CDL license suspension of 120 days.
Meanwhile, there are other scenarios that your CDL license could be at risk. For example, if it’s proven that you used your truck to transport stolen goods, you could lose your CDL. This could be interpreted as using your CDL in conjunction with the commission of a crime. Leaving the scene of an accident could also result in severe consequences, as could DUI/DWI convictions.
DUI/DWI and CDL Licenses
First, you may already know there is a different standard for DUI charges when it comes to CDL licenses. According to NJSA 39:3-10.13, if you operate a commercial vehicle, you are held to a higher standard. You can be convicted of driving while under the influence if your blood alcohol concentration is more than .04%. For a 200 pound man, that could mean as little as two beers. Additionally, you could find yourself charged with DUI if you choose to operate a truck or bus while under the influence of some medications.
Notwithstanding, here’s something you might not know. What you do while operating your passenger vehicle may also jeopardize your CDL license. In addition to other penalties, a first time DWI conviction in a passenger vehicle carries a one year CDL license suspension. Meanwhile, a second one ensures a lifetime suspension.
Worried about Losing Your CDL?
The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo has over seventy years of combined legal experience. We understand your concerns about losing your CDL license and would like to help you. Contact our office for a complimentary appointment to discuss your legal options.