All drivers who violate motor vehicle laws in the State of Connecticut face penalties. But, these penalties can vary in severity based on the type of license that you have. If you have a regular driver’s license, you might face fines for traffic tickets. You might also face license suspensions or points off of your license in some cases. But, if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you face more serious consequences. This is because CDL holders generally have their jobs tied to their licenses. If their CDL gets suspended, it means that they cannot work.
Penalties For CDL Holders
The traffic violation penalties are more severe for CDL holders than regular license holders. This is because commercial motor vehicles can cause more damage than the average car. Commercial vehicles can carry precious cargo that they need to protect. For example, CDL drivers need to be careful when carrying school children. Commercial motor vehicles can also carry hazardous material. This can pose a danger for other drivers if it spills. These vehicles can also cause more damage in an accident than the average vehicle. Information on traffic ticket penalties is available here.
Your employer must be told if you are a CDL driver and you get a ticket for a traffic violation. You have to tell your employer about this ticket within 30 days of getting it. Depending on the violation, you will face different penalties. Traffic offenses are serious or major offenses for CDL drivers.
Serious offenses are:
- Reckless driving.
- Driving 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit.
- Driving too close to the vehicle in front of you.
- Changing lanes in an improper manner.
- Violating the state texting and driving law.
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver’s license.
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle without CDL endorsement.
- Operating a commercial motor vehicle without having a CDL in your possession.
If you plead guilty or are found guilty to two serious offenses within a span of 3 years, you will get a CDL suspension. This suspension will last 60 days. If you plead guilty or are found guilty of three serious offenses, you will also get a suspension. This suspension will last for 120 days.
The definition of major offenses is as follows:
- Refusing a sobriety test.
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above .04%.
- Committing a felony with a commercial motor vehicle.
- Leaving an accident.
- Causing the death of someone else through your own negligence.
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle with a CDL that has been suspended or revoked.
If found guilty of one of these offenses, your CDL will be suspended for one year. You face more penalties as well. You face fines, potential jail time, probation, and other penalties.
Your Commercial Driver’s License could also get suspended for longer time periods. There are some situations where your CDL can get suspended for at least 180 days. These situations include:
- Violating a vehicle out of service or driver order. The suspension will happen if you are moving hazardous material that is to be placarded.
- Violating a vehicle out of service or driver order. This suspension will happen if you are driving a vehicle that can transport 16 or more people.
- Violating a vehicle out of service or driver order when transporting nonhazardous material.
If you have a commercial driver’s license, a traffic ticket could affect your livelihood. Because of this, it is important to fight the ticket and try to get your penalties lessened. A good way to prepare your case is by hiring a motor vehicle attorney such as myself. For more information, please contact my office.