A disqualification or suspension of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) can wreak financial havoc, especially if you use your CDL for work. You need to make it your top priority to avoid a suspension or disqualification of your CDL. In order to do so, you need to understand what can lead to suspension or disqualification in the first place.
The Difference Between Disqualification and Suspension
The main difference between a disqualification and a suspension of a CDL is the underlying type of traffic violation or offense you committed. If your CDL is disqualified, you are permitted to continue operating a standard vehicle but not a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). On the other hand, if your CDL is suspended, you are not allowed to operate any kind of vehicle.
Understanding CDL Disqualifications
It is important to understand that you need to meet a number of requirements in order to remain qualified to operate equipment or vehicles that require a CDL. Certain traffic violations that occur in or out of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and the driver’s personal vehicle may have an effect on the eligibility to drive a CMV.
– FMCSR 383.31, Notification of Conviction for Drivers. This regulation requires the driver to notify both the state and employer of any conviction(s).
– FMCSR 391.25, Annual Inquiry and Review Driving Record. This regulation requires the employer to review driver MVRs to ensure the driver is not disqualified and the employee is required to complete a certification of violations.
As the driver, you are responsible for reviewing MVRs and must understand the types of violations.
What Can Result in Disqualification of a CDL?
Serious violations that will result in a CDL disqualification include:
- Excessive speeding — 15 mph or more above the posted speed limit.
- Reckless driving.
- Improper or erratic lane changes.
- Following too closely.
- A traffic violation arising in connection with a fatal traffic accident.
- Driving a CMV without having obtained a CDL.
- Driving a CMV without having a CDL in the driver’s possession.
- Driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsements for the specific vehicle group operated, for passengers or cargo type.
Major offenses that result in a CDL disqualification include:
- Being under the influence of alcohol as prescribed by state law, or refusing to undergo testing.
- Being under the influence of a controlled substance.
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle.
- Using a vehicle to commit a felony.
- Using a vehicle in the commission of a felony involving the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance.
If you are in danger of having your CDL disqualified, it is imperative that you immediately consult with an experienced Central Valley CDL defense attorney to protect your license and your financial livelihood.
Call an Experienced Central Valley CDL Defense Attorney
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with CDL traffic violation attorney Gurjit Srai, please call us at (209) 323-5558.