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Commercial Driver CDL Disqualifications

Commercial Drivers License CDL Disqualifications

Commercial Driver CDL Disqualifications

A Commercial Drivers License CDL Disqualification (loss of CDL driving privileges) applies to CDL holders or persons required to have a CDL if a driver is administratively determined to have committed or gets a conviction for certain crimes or traffic violations. A CDL Disqualification may be for 60 days, 120 days, 1 year, 3 years, or a lifetime, depending upon the violation. Drivers who are disqualified from operating a CMV cannot be issued a Probationary “Red” License or any other type of limited CDL license to continue driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). If a CDL holder is disqualified from operating a CMV, the State may issue the driver a license to operate a non-CMV if the driver is eligible for a non-CMV license in that state.

Five Categories of Commercial Drivers License CDL Disqualifications

There are 5 categories of CDL Disqualifications under federal law, as follows:

Commercial Drivers License CDL Disqualification – Felony Crimes
Disqualification For Commission of Felony Crimes Using a CMV or non-CMV in the commission of a felony involving the manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing of a controlled substance will result in a CDL disqualification for life, without the possibility of reinstatement.
Commission of a drug felonyUsing a CMV or non-CMV in the commission of a felony involving the manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing of a controlled substance.
Commercial Drivers License CDL Disqualifications – Major Offenses
The first violation for a Major Offense, in either a CMV or a non-CMV, results in a 1-year disqualification or a 3-year disqualification if transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded. The second violation for a Major Offense, in either a CMV or a non-CMV, results in a lifetime disqualification. The driver may be eligible for reinstatement of the CDL under certain conditions after 10 years.
Under the influence of alcoholBeing under the influence of alcohol as prescribed by State law.
Under the influence of drugsBeing under the influence of a controlled substance.
B.A.C. of 0.04% or greaterHaving a B.A.C. of 0.04% or greater while operating a CMV.
Refusing to take an alcohol testRefusing to take an alcohol test as required by a State or jurisdiction under its implied consent laws or regulations.
Leaving the sceneLeaving the scene of an accident.
Use to commit a felonyUsing a vehicle to commit a felony.
Revoked, suspended, or cancelled, or disqualifiedDriving a CMV when, as a result of prior violations committed operating a CMV, the driver’s CDL is revoked, suspended, or cancelled, or the driver is disqualified from operating a CMV.
Causing a fatalityCausing a fatality through the negligent operation of a CMV, including but not limited to the crimes of motor vehicle manslaughter, homicide by motor vehicle and negligent homicide.
Commission of a drug felonyUsing the vehicle in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance.
Commercial Drivers License CDL Disqualifications – Serious Offenses
The first violation for a Serious Offense does not result in a disqualification. A second Serious Offense within 3 years will result in a 60-day disqualification, and a third Serious Offense within 3 years will result in a 120-day disqualification. Serious disqualifications must be served consecutively. All serious violations in a CMV are included. Serious violations in a non-CMV must not be included, unless it results in the revocation, cancellation, or suspension of the CDL holder’s license or non-CMV driving privileges.
Speeding excessivelySpeeding excessively, involving any speed of 15 m.p.h. or more above the posted speed limit.
Driving recklesslyDriving recklessly, as defined by State or local law or regulation, including but not limited to, offenses of driving a motor vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
Following too closelyFollowing the vehicle ahead too closely.
Fatal accidentViolating State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking vio) arising in connection with a fatal accident.
Driving without CDL privilegesDriving a CMV without obtaining a CDL.
Driving without CDL in possessionDriving a CMV without a CDL in the driver’s possession.
Driving without proper CDL classDriving a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsements for the specific vehicle group being operated or for the passengers or type of cargo being transported.
CDL Disqualifications – Railroad Grade Crossing Violations
The first violation of a Railroad Highway Grade Crossing (RRHGC) Violation results in a disqualification of not less than 60 days. A second violation within 3 years will result in a disqualification of not less than 120 days. A third and subsequent violation within 3 years will result in a disqualification of not less than 1 year.
A RRHGC Violations occur when:
RRHGC ViolationThe driver is not required to always stop, but fails to slow down and check that tracks are clear of an approaching train.
RRHGC ViolationThe driver is not required to always stop, but fails to stop before reaching the crossing, if the tracks are not clear.
RRHGC ViolationThe driver is always required to stop, but fails to stop before driving onto the crossing.
RRHGC ViolationThe driver fails to have sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping.
RRHGC ViolationThe driver fails to obey a traffic control device or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing.
RRHGC ViolationThe driver fails to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance.
CDL Disqualifications – Out-of-Service Order Violations
There are two types of Out-of-Service Order (OOSO) Violations. Category 1 violations apply to a driver who was transporting placarded hazardous materials or operating a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers. Category 2 violations apply to drivers not included in Category 1.
Category 1 - PenaltyCategory 1 – Penalty: The first violation results in a disqualification of no less than 180 days or more than 2 years. The second and subsequent violations within 10 years, results in a disqualification of no less than 3 years or more than 5 years.
Category 2 - PenaltyCategory 2 – Penalty: The first violation results in a disqualification of no less than 180 days or more than 1 year. The second violation within 10 years, results in a disqualification of no less than 2 years or more than 5 years. The third and subsequent violations result in disqualifications of no less than 3 years or more than 5 years.
Commercial Drivers License CDL AlertCommercial Drivers License CDL Alert: Talk to Us Before Paying the Ticket!
Important: Depending upon the issuing police agency (including Colorado State Patrol and many County Sheriff’s Offices), if you pay the penalty assessment amount by mail, the original charge may be entered onto your driving history even though the assessed points are reduced. If you possess a Commercial Drivers License, be particularly cautious before you mail in a penalty assessment ticket because you might be admitting guilt to the original charge, which could result in a “Serious Offense” under the Commercial Drivers License CDL Program with a 30-day, 60-day or longer Disqualification in certain cases. Depending on the jurisdiction where the ticket is issued, an attorney may be able to get the charge reduced to a charge that is not a “Serious Offense. Regardless of whether you have a Colorado or Out-of-State driver’s license, be sure you fully understand the CDL consequences of mailing in a penalty assessment ticket before you do so. Call us today to discuss your case!
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