Understanding the repercussions of a CDL disqualification

Feb 25, 2020 | traffic violations for commercial driver's license holders

Ohio roadways are part of the extensive transportation system that big rigs use to convey products around the country. When highway speeds combine with congested travel lanes, the situation is dangerous under the best conditions. Even an unloaded tractor-trailer truck is 10 to 20 times heavier than a passenger vehicle. If a collision occurs, it can affect several vehicles across multiple lanes. Adding drugs or alcohol to the mix can have deadly results.

Drunk driving laws are stringent for commercial truck drivers, more so than for cars and light-duty trucks. According to the Ohio BMV, the disqualification of a CDL holder’s operating privilege can occur regardless of whether you are driving a big truck at the time of the disqualifying event. This can affect your earning potential and employment status. The length of the disqualification period depends on the circumstances.

If you test positive for any detectable amount of alcohol while in a commercial motor vehicle, you are out of service for 24-hours. In situations where your breath test is at least 0.04 or a urine test is 0.056, the length of the license suspension is one year for the first offense. If it occurs a second time, the suspension is for a lifetime.

It is not only the use of drugs or alcohol that can affect the status of your CDL. There are several serious traffic violations that can result in suspension. They include the following:

  • Texting while driving
  • Driving a CMV without a CDL
  • Marked lane violation
  • Following too close to another vehicle
  • Speed 15 MPH or more over the posted limit
  • Traffic violation resulting in a fatality

Having a traffic violation conviction on your record can change the course of your life. It is critical that you understand your options before fighting the charges.