Commercial trucks are large and difficult to drive. Therefore, Georgia holds professional truck drivers to a higher safety standard than drivers of private vehicles. This means that just one or two traffic violations can stop truck drivers from getting or keeping their commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Common CDL violations
Under Georgia law, truck drivers can face a one-year suspension of their CDL for committing one major traffic violation. Drivers who commit a second major violation can receive a permanent ban of their CDL, ruining their chances of employment in the trucking industry.
Drunk driving is one of the most common major violations that truck drivers commit. CDL holders driving commercial vehicles can be charged with DUI for having a blood alcohol content level of just .04%. Meanwhile, CDL holders charged with DUI while driving a private vehicle can still have their commercial license suspended or revoked. Other examples of major violations include:
- Refusing a field sobriety or blood alcohol test
- Driving with a suspended or revoked CDL
- Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony
- Causing a death through negligent driving
- Leaving an accident scene involving a commercial vehicle
- Using a commercial vehicle to deliver marijuana or other controlled substances
- Racing in a motor vehicle
- Theft of a commercial vehicle
Serious traffic violations
Commercial truck drivers who commit two serious traffic violations within three years while driving a commercial vehicle can face a 60-day suspension of their CDL. Drivers who receive a third serious violation can face a 120-day suspension of their CDL. Examples of serious violations include:
- Exceeding posted speed limits by 15 miles per hour or more
- Improper lane changes
- Traffic infractions leading to a fatal crash
Commercial truck drivers accused of a major or serious traffic violation may benefit from contacting a defense attorney as quickly as possible. Depending on the case’s circumstances, a lawyer may strive to get the violation dismissed or significantly reduced.