New Jersey Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) – Tickets and Violations Lawyer

The value of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is immeasurable. For a great many, CDLs are a prerequisite to employment. A ticket or any kind of motor vehicle violation represents more than an inconvenience. In fact, it may mean looking for a new job.

Passing written and skills tests are only one part of the process of obtaining a CDL. There are also requirements as far as medical clearance, and documented evidence of 20/40 vision, with or without glasses.


CLD License Classifications

Under New Jersey law, bus operators and truck drivers are required to obtain different classes of CDL licenses. The State of New Jersey’s Division of Motor Vehicles breaks down the classifications as follows:

Class A License Requirements:

  • Necessary when driving vehicles with gross combination weight rating (GCWR) or gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds, whichever is greater.
  • Vehicles in a B or C category, provided license holder has qualified for the proper extra endorsements.

Class B License Requirements:

  • Required when operating a vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, or a vehicle with a registered weight of 26,001 pounds or more, or a vehicle with a GVW of 26,001 pounds or more, or displays a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater.
  • Mandated for vehicles in a Class C category – provided the CDL license holder has qualified for the proper extra endorsements.

Class C License Requirements:

  • Necessary when a vehicle is transporting or used in the transportation of hazardous materials, with mandatory placard displayed.
  • Required for operation of vehicles designed to carry 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
  • Mandated for vehicles used to transport children from a school, school-connected activity, day camp, summer day camp, summer residence camp, nursery school, child care center, preschool center or other similar places of education.
  • Requisite in other transportation situations, particularly those related to charitable or religious organizations.
  • Necessary whenever a vehicle is used for hire and designed to transport eight or more, but less than 16 persons, including the driver.

CDL Tickets and Violations

Both New Jersey and federal laws are stringent when it comes to maintaining CDL licenses. Testing is more comprehensive, and the law places greater expectations on both truck drivers and bus drivers. Those who carry commercial driver’s licenses could receive tickets for any one of the following motor vehicle offenses:

  • Entering the lane of a highway clearly forbidding commercial vehicles
  • Traveling on a roadway that excludes vehicles over a certain weight class
  • Tailgating, or riding too close to a car, truck or bus
  • Speeding above the posted speed limit
  • Operating a commercial vehicle with an uneven load

These are just some examples of offenses that can result in traffic citations. Notably, some violations are more severe than others. For instance, speeding fifteen miles over the posted speed limit is a serious offense when it pertains to a CDL license holder. Here are some other tickets that can result in severe consequences if you are a commercial driver:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Causing a fatal accident
  • Driving While on the Suspended List
  • Changing lanes without signaling or leaving enough room
  • Reckless driving

Meanwhile, New Jersey laws regarding driving while intoxicated differ when they pertain to those who hold commercial licenses.

DWI and Commercial Driver’s Licenses

Without question, commercial license holders who operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are held to a high standard. It is illegal to drive a commercial vehicle if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is found to be more than .04%.

BAC levels are reliant on a number of factors, including the driver’s weight and the time it takes for alcohol to metabolize within the body. Obviously, alcohol intake is also a factor. Other New Jersey drivers are only considered legally impaired if their blood alcohol content is in excess of .08%.

Suspension or revocation of a commercial driver’s license can also be impacted by vehicle operation in a passenger vehicle. This is critical as the associated penalties are not just assigned because the driver was operating a bus or truck when charged with the DWI violation.

Meanwhile, refusal to take a breathalyzer test can also result in a DWI conviction and either a CDL suspension or revocation. A commercial driver charged with a first time DWI offense risks suspension of his or her CDL. This is true even when the driver was in a personal automobile when ticketed. Meanwhile, commercial driving privileges will be permanently revoked for a second DWI conviction.

CDL Violations and Penalties

In some cases, penalties for commercial driver’s license violations are severe enough to warrant incarceration. Multiple tickets may increase the likelihood of excessive penalties. Court costs and fines are only one expense. For the most part, professional drivers fear their license will be suspended or revoked. Therefore, they may have to search for alternative employment.

Get Experienced Legal Help Now!

If you are charged with any motor vehicle violation and hold a commercial driver’s license, you need experienced legal help! Contact the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo now to protect your right to maintain your CDL.


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