It takes time and effort to get any sort of a professional license. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is one such professional license. You have taken the time and expended the effort to get the license, and you depend on it to make your living. Getting a CDL ticket or being charged with a DUI or other moving violation can take you off the road for months, at a minimum.
A CDL is required to drive any commercial motor vehicle. These vehicles can include large trucks, and any vehicle weighing more than 26,000 lbs, buses, and other vehicles for passenger transport. All of these vehicles have stringent state and federal rules regarding driving, acceptable load limits, and record keeping.
Moving Violations Can Result in Suspensions
Any Oklahoma highway officer may pull your rig over. It could be that your tail light, or you failed to observe the proper speed limits, or you were driving to fast for weather conditions. An officer’s assessment of your driving performance can be very different than your own.
A ticket for a moving violation can be a serious matter for a professional driver. Unlike a Class D driver, a professional driver cannot afford to ignore a ticket. More than one ticket can result in a license disqualification. And professional drivers are not allowed a hardship waiver or work permit in Oklahoma. A disqualification or suspension means that you cannot drive.
And while an accident resulting from an unsafe lane change is serious for two Class D drivers, it can be deadly when a large commercial vehicle is involved. Because of that, the laws concerning CDL tickets are quite strict.
Two CDL tickets within three years for an unsafe lane change, following too closely, or using your cell phone can mean two months out of work. A third CDL traffic ticket can mean four months without the ability to drive. Failing to stop at a railroad crossing is an immediate 60 day CDL suspension for the first offense. A second infraction could mean the loss of your license for a year.
There are some violations that are specific to commercial drivers. For example, driving a commercial motor vehicle without a valid CDL, driving a commercial vehicle with a suspended or revoked CDL, or leaving the scene of an accident.
And because commercial drivers are mandated to keep strict adherence to mandated safety guidelines, their failure to do so, can result in a ticket. Examples of these infractions include failure to keep adequate records, driving a commercial motor vehicle that is too long or too wide, carrying too much weight in the vehicle.
CDLs and DUIs
When you get your professional CDL, you agree to take a blood alcohol test if any officer requests it at any time you are driving. Your CDL will be suspended for one year or more if you:
- Drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 or higher
- Drive under the influence of alcohol or another controlled substance
- Refuse to take a blood alcohol test
A second infraction will mean a CDL suspension of three years or more. Your CDL can be revoked or suspended for life if you are convicted of a felony involving a controlled substance that occurred while you were driving a commercial motor vehicle.
How an Attorney Can Help
All too often, a person facing a CDL will try to argue their case alone before the judge and all too often, their argument fails. That is because while some of the tickets a CDL driver faces are clear cut, others rely on a murkier “reasonable” standard. For example, if you are using your cell phone and driving, that is clear cut. You are either on your phone or not. But following too closely is a much more subjective criterion. What does that really mean? Your attorney can effectively argue that your actions were reasonable for the circumstances at hand.
You may be tempted to just pay the fine and get on with work, but doing so may cost you a suspension down the line. Protect your livelihood by seeking out the help of an experienced CDL ticket attorney in the Muskogee area as soon as possible. An attorney can help you keep your record clean by working for dismissal or getting you a lesser charge.
Confidential Consultation: Muskogee CDL Lawyer
Get help when you need it most. Work with a CDL lawyer in Muskogee, Oklahoma, to get a fair shake in court and to protect your livelihood. Contact us today at (918) 884-7774.