The requirements to obtain a Commercial Drivers Licenses can be expensive and time consuming. The basic steps required by every state for a driver to obtain a CDL include a driver must be at least 21 years old, obtain and hold a commercial learners permit for a minimum of 14 days, and pass a road skills test. On top of taking these steps, attending a trucking school is a great way to be fully prepared for the CDL examination. Trucking schools can cost between $3,000.00 and $7,000.00 for the entire program and they usually last about seven weeks in order to obtain a Class A CDL. If the time commitment and cost for obtaining a CDL is not an issue, it is a good idea to go ahead and attend the program because it is unlikely that a company will hire someone without any formal training. More importantly, it ensures you are fully aware of what is expected while operating a commercial vehicle.
After spending this much time and money on obtaining a CDL, it is important to be informed about the risk and possible ways of losing your CDL. The process of getting your CDL is obviously more difficult than getting a regular driver’s license; it is also easier to lose your CDL than it is to lose a regular license. That is because the regulations and consequences set on a CDL are more serious than other licenses. Think of it as the bigger the vehicle the bigger the responsibility.
Obvious violations that can result in the loss or suspension of a CDL include driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, refusing an alcohol test, fleeing the scene of an accident, trucking while your CDL is suspended, speeding 15 mph above posted speed limit, and operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL. These are only a few of the violations that can result in the loss of your CDL. Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than any other driver on the road and must abide by all the traffic laws set by the state. It is the responsibility of the driver to know these laws to make the roadways safer for everyone. It should also be noted that the violation of these traffic laws and others while driving a personal vehicle can also have an impact on your CDL.
If convicted of violating traffic laws, a driver is required by law to notify their employer. This can result in the temporary or permanent loss of your job. Another consequence is the suspension or revocation of your CDL. If a driver has two serious traffic violations in separate incidents during a three year period the driver faces a 60-day disqualification. If a driver has three serious traffic violations in separate incidents during a three year period, the driver faces a 120-day disqualification. It should also be noted that if a driver is convicted of two or more serious traffic violations while operating a vehicle other than a commercial vehicle, they become disqualified only if there is a revocation or suspension of driving privileges. Furthermore, if a driver disregards their disqualification, they face an out of service order, which removes the driver from the roadways. After their first offense, a driver faces 90 days to one year of out of service, the second offense in a 10-year period is 1 to 5 years, and the third offense in 10 years is 3-5 years.
The best course of action to take while operating a commercial vehicle is to be knowledgeable and to have a clear understanding of what is expected out of you while on the road. This can ensure your safety as well as others while driving, and can also lower the risk of traffic accidents.
If you find yourself being charged with traffic violations our attorneys will aggressively advocate on your behalf, and we will do everything that we can to have your charges modified, reduced or even dismissed, to preserve your driving record and save you money in the long term. We are here to navigate you through the complex – and often confusing – process of being charged with a traffic offense in the State of Georgia. We are familiar with the court systems – including the law enforcement officials, prosecutors, clerks of court, and other court officials – throughout Northeast Georgia. We would be happy to assist you through the very stressful process of addressing your situation. Please call us today at (706) 356-0518 to set up a free consultation.