Commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) are a privilege in Connecticut and are only issued by the DMV after a driver applies and passes a test to obtain it. This license could be suspended. If your license is in danger, CDL hearings can help. These license holders are held to a higher standard than regular driver’s license holders, and because of this, they can be disqualified for a variety of reasons. You can learn more about CDLs and CDL hearings in Connecticut drivers on this page.
CDLs are required to drive any commercial motor vehicle in Connecticut, including vehicles transporting hazardous materials, vehicles that weigh a certain amount, and school buses. Because these licenses are a privilege, they can be taken away by the DMV. In some cases, violations could result in a temporary suspension, and others could result in a lifetime disqualification. In any case of disqualification, the driver still has an opportunity to be heard before the DMV can just take away their license.
CDL suspensions can result from repeated convictions of serious traffic violations, which are violations that include speeding 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, reckless driving, changing lanes erratically, texting while driving, and operating a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL license. CDL suspensions can also result from violations like operating under the influence, failing to stop for an accident, racing, or driving a commercial vehicle while committing a felony.
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These serious violations will result in a one-year disqualification. Causing a fatal accident while negligently operating a commercial vehicle will result in a two-year disqualification. There is a minimum ten-year disqualification for second convictions of operating under the influence, failing to stop for an accident, racing, or driving a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL.
Federal law also lists the following as major violations:
- Alcohol or drug-related offenses, including blood alcohol content (BAC) test refusal or failure.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Using a commercial vehicle while committing a felony.
- Causing a fatality while negligently operating a commercial vehicle.
- Driving a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL.
First violations result in a one-year disqualification and second violations result in a lifetime disqualification.
Federal law states that the following are considered serious traffic violations:
- Excessive speeding.
- Reckless driving.
- Improper lane changes.
- Following too closely.
- Violating a traffic control law that results in a fatality.
- Operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL or proper endorsements or carrying the CDL on your person.
Fighting a Suspension – CDL Hearings
Although obtaining and holding a CDL is earned, it is a privilege, not a right, and can therefore be taken away by the state for violations. However, before a CDL is automatically taken away, the driver does have the opportunity to request an administrative hearing. In CDL hearings, you can challenge the suspension.
You must request the hearing within seven days after the suspension notice is issued. The driver must request this hearing, and if not requested after seven days, the opportunity to challenge it will terminate. You can also have a lawyer present to defend you at CDL hearings. If this is something that you are interested in, contact our office for more information.