If your job requires you to maintain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you’re well aware that your livelihood revolves around your ability to follow licensing regulations.
Unfortunately, it’s easier than you might imagine incurring CDL violations that could lead to loss of your license. In fact, even two major traffic violations can lead to a 60-day disqualification of your CDL, as can certain other offenses.
We’ve put together a guide covering how moving violations and certain other offenses affect your CDL and your options for fighting back against impending CDL violations.
Illinois Traffic Offenses Can Be CDL Violations
If you hold a CDL, a moving violation falls into two categories, “serious traffic” offenses and “major moving” violations. Of these two, serious traffic offenses are much more severe and can affect your CDL.
Serious traffic offenses in Illinois include, but are not limited to:
- Reckless driving
- Overriding a lane control device
- Excessive speeding that is too fast for road conditions
- Failure to reduce speed when passing or avoiding an accident
- Improper passing
- Following too closely
- Improperly passing a stopped school bus
If you accrue multiple serious traffic offenses, you could face CDL disqualification:
- Two serious traffic offenses accrued in a three year period: 60-day disqualification
- Three serious traffic offenses accrued in a three year period: 120-day disqualification
These offenses must be accrued as a result of separate incidents. Additionally, the offense that triggers the CDL disqualification must occur in a commercial motor vehicle.
CDL Violations that Lead to IL CDL Cancellation
While traffic violations can lead to a temporary disqualification of your CDL, other, more serious offenses can lead to the actual cancellation of your license.
Illinois CDLs can be canceled for the following offenses:
- Driving a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.04% or higher
- Driving any vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher
- Operating a commercial vehicle with illegal drugs on the breath or in urine
- Leaving the scene of an accident in any vehicle
- Using a vehicle in the commission of a felony
- Driving a commercial vehicle with a suspended CDL
- Negligent driving in a commercial vehicle
Fighting Back Against CDL Violations in Illinois
Importantly, these limitations only apply when you are convicted of the offense in question — and this includes not only criminal offenses such as a DUI but also traffic violations.
A traffic ticket is not a conviction, but rather a summons to appear in traffic court, or instructions to pay for the violation if you choose to admit your guilt. Most people pay the fine without going to court — it’s simply not worth the time.
For commercial drivers, though, it is. If a traffic offense compromises your CDL, it is absolutely in your best interest to fight any and all major traffic offenses. Failure to do so can lead to the loss of your livelihood.
Even if you’re only facing a first offense and aren’t subject to CDL disqualification this time, it’s in your best interest to fight back, as you never know what violations you could face in the future.
In traffic court, you would ordinarily represent yourself, and you aren’t entitled to a public defender. However, you can hire your own legal representation.
Here’s why you should consider it: An experienced CDL attorney will be aware of all of the elements required to convict you of the offense and can cast doubt on whether these elements were present.
If you’re facing a CDL violation, taking action now can protect your livelihood. Protect your future by fighting back to beat any and all CDL violation charges or citations.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers, the National Trial Lawyers Association, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.