Truck drivers and other drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) have higher standards on the road than the average driver. Thus, motor vehicle violations can be more severe for them than for the average driver. This is because commercial trucks can do a lot more damage on the road than the average car can.
If you’ve ever seen an accident on the highway involving a commercial truck and a regular-sized vehicle, you know that a truck can crush other cars with ease. For this reason, accidents involving commercial trucks are oftentimes fatal. Driving while under the influence increases the likelihood of an accident. Breaking motor vehicle laws in Connecticut could also lead to accidents and other issues. These actions can make you a liability to your employer.
As a truck driver with a commercial driver’s license, you must follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations. These regulations concern drugs and/or alcohol use while driving. These regulations are most restrictive in terms of their blood alcohol concentration limit. This BAC is set at 0.04%, a much lower limit than what a person without a CDL will face. Alcohol tolerance for a truck driver with a CDL is lower because of the safety risks involved with driving large trucks carrying potentially dangerous cargo and the sheer size of commercial trucks. Furthermore, the FMCSA rules state that if you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test, you will automatically be found guilty of driving under the influence.
DUI Penalties and Disqualification
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If one of these offenses occurs with driving a vehicle that is transporting hazardous materials, the minimum disqualification will be for three years. If convicted twice for either driving under the influence or refusal or failure of a BAC test, the result would be a lifetime disqualification of your commercial driver license. A first offense of using a commercial vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance will also result in a lifetime disqualification.
Disqualification will result from a conviction of any one (1) of the following:
- Operation under the influence of alcohol.
- Refusal to take a blood, breath or urine test.
- Failure of a blood, breath or urine test (0.04 or greater).
- Evading the police.
- Use of a commercial vehicle in conjunction with a felony conviction.
If an additional violation occurs following the completion of a driver retraining class, you might have to repeat the class. These classes are under the discretion of the retraining associations and are not held at the DMV. If the class is not completed by the effective date of suspension, a restoration fee in the amount of $175 must be paid. You can pay by check or money order payable to DMV and mailed to:
State of Connecticut
Department of Motor Vehicles
Driver Services Division
60 State Street
Wethersfield, Connecticut 06161-2525
(Include the license number and name with payment.)
Alternatively, you can pay this fee online.
Motor Vehicle Violations
In addition to DUI issues, seemingly simple motor vehicle violations can have a significant impact on a commercial driver’s license. If you are convicted of two of the following motor vehicle violations, you will face a driver’s license suspension to last 60 days:
- Causing a fatal accident and being convicted.
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a CDL license.
- Driving a CMV without a CDL license.
- Erratic/improper lane changing.
- Following too closely.
- Reckless driving.
- Texting while driving.
- Speeding 15+ mph over the speed limit.
For help dealing with a CDL and a motor vehicle violation, contact Lady DUI.