As a truck driver, your livelihood is dependent upon having a commercial driver’s license. However, a serious violation or major offense committed behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle could disqualify you from holding a CDL. If the offense is serious enough, or if there are multiple offenses, the loss of your CDL may be permanent.
The following are examples of violations that could cause you to lose your CDL. Generally speaking, only serious traffic violations involving a CMV rather than a private passenger vehicle count toward the loss of your commercial license. However, a major offense may mean the loss of your CDL regardless of whether it takes place in a commercial or non-commercial vehicle.
Driving while intoxicated
The law holds CDL holders to a higher standard when it comes to driving while intoxicated. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration is lower for commercial drivers. When you are behind the wheel of a CMV, the law presumes that you are too drunk to drive with a BAC of 0.04%. It does not matter whether you were off duty at the time.
DWI is also an example of a violation that could affect your CDL even if you were driving a personal vehicle at the time of the violation.
Leaving the scene of an accident involving a CMV
The laws of the state where the accident takes place may require you to stop and render aid or provide information to the other party. Failure to comply with applicable laws in any situation falls under the all-inclusive category of leaving the scene of an accident involving a CMV, a disqualifying offense that could lose you your CDL.
If your speed was greater than 15 miles over the limit while in your commercial vehicle, the law considers it to be excessive. However, only excess speeding in a commercial vehicle counts toward the disqualification of your CDL, not a private passenger vehicle.
Using a commercial vehicle to dispense, distribute or manufacture controlled substances is a special offense that results in a lifetime disqualification. There is no possibility of reinstating your CDL after an offense of this nature.