Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I have a commercial driver's license (CDL) and I drive for a living.What happens when I'm ticketed?


By Attorney Jeffrey R. Hall, for Hall, Rustom & Fritz LLC 

In Illinois, a good career path to take is that of a commercial driver.  Everyday, we drive our state and federal highways.  Trucks of all different sizes fill the road transporting machinery & goods across the nation.  Good drivers are few and far between and the pay is substantial, when compared to other professions.

A person looking to obtain their CDL must complete certification classes and pass certain exams to obtain their commercial driver's license.  If you have already obtained your CDL, you should be aware that you must pay extra attention to traffic laws.  This is important even if you are a first offender and have a pristine driving record. 

After all the hard work obtaining your CDL, you will want to take extra precaution when driving commercially.  The laws on the books can punish you, disqualify your CDL privileges, and prevent you from earning a wage since you will not be able to drive for your job.

If you have a CDL, you will need to know about what violations can lead to a disqualification of your CDL privileges.  We have compiled a list for easy reference.  Most CDL holders do all they can to prevent one of these serious violations from going on their commercial driving record. If you are ticketed, you will likely need the ticket dismissed or at least amended to a violation that is not considered "serious" for CDL purposes. 
  • For example, if you are cited with Speeding 15-20 mph over the limit, you will need the speed amended down by the prosecutors to a speed below 14 mph for the ticket to NOT be considered a serious violation. 
Below is a list of serious traffic violations that can lead to CDL disqualification.  If you are ticketed for one of the offenses listed below, you should speak to an experienced traffic attorney that knows how to properly advise you through the process while protecting your CDL.
If you are driving your commercial vehicle and you are ticketed for serious violations and you receive court supervision or a conviction in court:
  1. Your CDL will be disqualified for 2 months if you receive 2 serious violations arising from separate incidents in a THREE year period. 

  2. Your CDL will be disqualified for not less than 4 months if you receive 3 serious violations arising from separate incidents in a THREE year period. 

  3. The federal rules governing your commercial driver's license does not differentiate between court supervision dispositions and convictions.  Thus, if you are given court supervision for a serious traffic violation, it is the same as being reported as a conviction!

If you are driving in a non-commercial vehicle (your personal vehicle), your CDL could still be affected, depending on the offense you are ticketed for:
  1. You can be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for a period of not less than 2 months if you are convicted of 2 serious traffic violations committed in a NON-Commercial Vehicle (e.g. your personal vehicle), while holding a CDL, arising from separate incidents, occurring within a THREE year period (if the convictions would result in the suspension or revocation of your non-CDL privileges).  (This means that if you receive 2 serious violations that would suspend your regular driving privileges, you are looking at a 2 month disqualification of your CDL).

  2. You can be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for a period of not less than 4 months if you are convicted of 3 or more serious traffic violations committed in a NON-Commercial Vehicle (e.g. your personal vehicle), while holding a CDL, arising from separate incidents, occurring within a THREE year period (if the convictions would result in the suspension or revocation of your non-CDL privileges).  (This means that if you receive 3 or more serious violations that would suspend your regular driving privileges, you are looking at a 4 month disqualification of your CDL).

  3. Drivers are NOT ELIGIBLE for restoration of CDL privileges during any period of disqualification.
If you are cited with DUI and you receive court supervision or a conviction for it, the following CDL penalties will occur:
  1. Your CDL will be disqualified for 1 year for your first DUI.
  2. Your CDL will be disqualified for 3 years, if, during the preceding 3 years, you received a disqualifying offense (other serious violations).
  3. Your CDL will be disqualified for LIFE for a second conviction (2nd DUI), or any combination of those offenses arising from 2 or more separate incidents.
Further, if you are pulled over for DUI, your CDL will be disqualified for 1 year if you test over .04 on the BAC test (if you were driving a commercial vehicle).  If you test over .08 in a non-commercial (personal) vehicle, your CDL will be disqualified for 1 year.


The Illinois Secretary of State considers the below listed offenses as CDL serious traffic violations (92 Illinois Administrative Code 1040) and are in addition to the offenses listed as serious traffic violations in the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/6-500.26 (A), of the Uniform Commercial Driver’s License Act (UCDLA).

  • 625 ILCS 5/6-501 Violation of More Than One Driver's License
  • 625 ILCS 5/6-507(a)(1) Driving Without a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in Possession
  • 625 ILCS 5/6-507 (b) Unlawful Operation of CMV
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-308 Disregarding Lane Control Signal
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-503 Reckless Driving
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-601(a) Speeding Too Fast for Conditions or Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-601(b)(5) 15-25 MPH Above Posted Speed Limit
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-601(b)(7) Over 25 MPH Above Posted Speed Limit
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-601(b) Over 29 MPH Above Posted Speed Limit
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5 Driving 40 MPH or More in Excess of the Applicable Speed Limit.  Class “A” Misdemeanor
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-605 Exceeding the Maximum Speed Limit in a School Zone
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-605(a) Exceeding the Maximum Speed Limit in a School Zone
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-605(b) Exceeding the Maximum Speed Limit Through a Highway Construction or Maintenance Zone
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-701 Failure to Drive on Right Side of Roadway
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-702 Improper Passing Upon Meeting an Approaching Vehicle
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-703(a) Improper Passing on Left
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-703(b) Failure to Yield Right-of-Way to Vehicle Passing on the Left
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-704 Improper Passing on the Right
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-705 Improper Passing on the Left with Insufficient Visibility or Within 200 Feet of an Intersection
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-706 Driving on Left Side of Roadway Where Prohibited
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-707(b) Driving on Left Side of Roadway in a No-Passing Zone
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-707(d) Passing in Unincorporated Area Where There Exists a School Speed Zone as Defined in Section 11-605
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-708 Driving Wrong Way on One-Way Street or Highway or Around Traffic Island
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-709(a) Improper Traffic Lane Usage
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-709(b) Improper Center Lane Usage
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-709(c) Improper Traffic Lane Usage
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-709(d) Improper Traffic Lane Usage
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-709.1 Passing on Shoulder While Merging into Traffic
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-710 Following Too Closely
  • 625 ILCS 5/6-101 Operating a Motor Vehicle Without a Valid License or Permit
  • 625 ILCS 5/6-104(a) Violation of License Classification for First and Second Division Vehicles
  • 625 ILCS 5/6-104(b) Violation of Classification for Transporting Persons for Hire
  • 625 ILCS 5/6-104(c) Violation of Classification for Transporting Property for Hire
  • 625 ILCS 5/6-104(d) Violation of School Bus Permits
  • 625 ILCS 5/6-104(e) Violation of Religious Bus Driver Permits
  • 625 ILCS 5/6-104(f) Violation of Classification for Transportation of the Elderly
  • 625 ILCS 5/6-105 Violation of Instruction Permit
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-1002(d) Passing Vehicle Stopped for Pedestrian
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-1201(a) For drivers who are not always required to stop, failing to stop before reaching the railroad crossing, if tracks are not clear
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-1201(a-5) For drivers who are not always required to stop, failing to slow down and check that the tracks are clear of approaching train
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-1201(d-1) For all drivers, failing to negotiate a railroad-highway grade crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-1412.1 Driving Upon Sidewalk
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-1414(a) Passing School Bus Receiving or Discharging Children
  • 625 ILCS 5/11-1425(b) For all drivers, failing to have sufficient space to drive completely through the railroad crossing without stopping
Learn how to obtain your CDL in Illinois by visiting: 

Commercial Driver's License Study Guide


To learn more about Illinois laws regarding driver's license suspensions & revocations:


Illinois Administrative Code: Traffic Suspensions & Revocations

If you have further questions, please visit our website at www.centralillinoislawyers.com and complete our online submission form. Or, you can call our office at 309-699-4691 or email us at how@howlawfirm.com.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: 

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form nor should the reader rely on the information listed above as true in all circumstances. This information is provided generally and any similarity between the information listed above and an individual reader's case is purely coincidental.

The attorneys at Hall, Rustom & Fritz LLC represent clients throughout the entire state of Illinois, including, but not limited to, the cities of Peoria, Morton, Washington, Pekin, Eureka, East Peoria, Dunlap, Metamora, Bartonville, Bloomington, Normal and any legal matter located in Peoria County, Tazewell County, Woodford County, Marshall County, Stark County, Henry County, Knox County and McLean County.

Article Author: Jeffrey R. Hall




Jeff Hall is managing partner at Hall, Rustom & Fritz LLC and concentrates his law practice in Criminal Law, DUI & Traffic law, driver's license reinstatement hearings and criminal record expungements.

If you have a legal question, email Jeff Hall.



View Jeffrey  Hall's profile on LinkedIn

15 comments:

  1. I just got the ticket, and thinking to take the traffic safety school, but I'm afraid that if I do the Traffic Safety School, that its going to show on MVR for the court purpose...
    I know that It wont show on the regular MVR, but not sure for the court purpose one. On that one you can see all supervisions and bunch of other stuff and is much more serious then the regular one.
    I live in chicago area and ticket was issue in Lincolnwood IL, any help please!!!!
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Typically, you, law enforcement officers, and court officials (prosecutors) have access to your entire driving record so long as it is being used for court purposes. Court supervision or taking the traffic safety school will likely show up at the bottom of the driving record on the supervision page.

    If you have a CDL and you plead guilty to a speeding ticket or a ticket that is listed as a serious violation, your CDL record will be affected and it will likely go against your safety rating as well as your company's safety rating.

    Thus, it is important for you to consider hiring a competent attorney that can negotiate a fair disposition that will not affect your CDL or driving record.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tonight i just got a speeding ticket going 13 over, 58 in a 45, will that affect my CDL future? im 20 and still waiting for a company to take me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since you were not going 15 or more over the limit, it will not be considered a serious violation; however, it could still affect your application for hiring. You should consider hiring an attorney to represent you. They could negotiate an amendment with the prosecutors so that it will not affect your CDL or safety rating.

      Delete
  4. I currently have one dui (alcohol) in illinois and one OWI (marijuana) in the state of Iowa. I received court supervision and can expunge my first dui alcohol in Illinois in 2009. The second offense happened in feb of 2011. Would this make me ineligible for my cdl? I received court supervision for the DUI in illinois and was convicted of the OWI in Iowa.

    ReplyDelete
  5. First, in Illinois, you cannot expunge a DUI. See 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(a)(3)(a).

    Second, if during the search, they see both DUIs, you would have a problem being approved for a CDL. While I don't know of any law that would prevent you from being ineligible, if they have discretionary power to reject your application, they could. Nevertheless, it may be worth applying and testing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was arrested for a DUI and was able to plea bargain that to reckless driving. My lawyer states it is possible that the Secretary of State can rescind my CDL, but he feels this is our best option. I did receive a DUI over 22 years ago as a young kid. What are the chances that they would do this? I have no other serious convictions within the last 10 years or more.

    ReplyDelete
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  9. I have a CDL. I got a DUI in August 2010. I received court supervision and went through the year without getting any more violations. Last night in my personal vehicle I got a speeding ticket for 60 in a 45. The envelope says I cannot choose the traffic school option since I have a CDL. I don't even need my CDL anymore. Feel like I should get rid of the CDL because it's just a headache to deal with "special" penalties for having one. I know that now that I have this 15mph over speeding ticket that I am considered to have committed 2 serious offenses within the last 3 years. I can't afford an attorney for something like this right now. If I plead guilty, how badly will the points affect my insurance; will I have to worry about any suspension/disqualification orders; is there any way I could still do the traffic school option and avoid the conviction altogether even though I hold a (useless) CDL license? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can try to represent yourself and request the prosecutor amend the speed to below 15 mph over the limit. While this will still show up on your CDL history, it will not be considered a serious violation if you plead guilty to an offense for 11-14 mph over the limit, so long as you get court supervision for it. This applies only for Illinois.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm in Oklahoma but I believe the laws are the same.. I got a speeding ticket 21 over (81 in a 60) in my personal vehicle. The city allows defensive driving to dismiss the ticket. My question is with the understanding that the state will still see it as a conviction will it show up on my public motor vehicle record or is it just used by the state for CDL evaluation purposes?

    ReplyDelete
  12. If the circuit clerk located in the county where you received the ticket in Oklahoma reports "speeding 21 over" to the Oklahoma DMV (OKDMV), the OKDMV will report to your CDL safety record and it will be reflected on your driving record. This will be a serious violation on your CDL. If you receive one more "serious violation" within the next 3 years. Applying that same time requirement, if you have received a previous serious violation within 3 years preceding the present "21 over" ticket, your CDL will likely be disqualified for a period of 2 months.

    It is highly advisable for you to seek counsel to help you with your ticket. They may be able to get the ticket amended to 14 mph or less above the speed limit. This will NOT be recorded as a serious violation but it will still report to your safety record. Be diligent and hire a professional to help you. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi! I got CDL disqualification for railroad-highway grade crossing committed in a commercial motor, Illinois disqualified my CDL for 60 days, how can I contest it?

    ReplyDelete
  14. The blog clearly explain about the hard work needed to get a commercial driver's license.A person looking to obtain their CDL must complete certification classes, pass certain exams and driving test to obtain their commercial driver's license.

    ReplyDelete