Your driving habits matter for your CDL — on or off the clock

When you got your commercial driver’s license, your livelihood became all about driving. If something happens that threatens your CDL, it could mean that you won’t be able to make a living, at least for a while.

Obviously, if you drive for a living, your driving habits take on greater significance. It doesn’t matter whether you are in your personal vehicle or a commercial vehicle. What may be minor traffic violations and inconveniences for other drivers may be devastating for you. This makes contesting any tickets you receive of paramount importance.

Your employment could hang in the balance

Not surprisingly, your driving record plays a large role in your employment. If you have multiple citations for violating traffic laws such as speeding, you may not get the job, and you may have trouble finding an insurer. Even if you can obtain insurance, it could be at a higher rate if the insurer considers you a “high-risk” driver.

Not every ticket causes you issues, however. A couple of tickets over the course of a decade may not matter, but a couple of tickets over the course of a year might. Other than the amount of tickets, the type of ticket may also impact your ability to find or keep gainful employment and insurance. In addition, you could find your license suspended for a while.

You may lose your license

A ticket for speeding may be detrimental, but a ticket for any of the following could cost you your CDL forever, and the court may bar you from even applying for a new one:

  • Reckless (vehicular) homicide
  • Driving under the influence
  • Using a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony
  • Leaving the scene of an accident

Other types of felony charges could also result in the loss of your CDL. Due to the immense responsibility placed on your shoulders when you receive this type of license, the law holds you to a higher standard than passenger vehicle drivers. You may already know that, if your blood alcohol concentration reaches .04 or higher, you may face DUI charges even though other drivers may not face charges until their BACs reach .08.

With your livelihood at stake, it may be in your best interest to challenge any traffic citation you receive. However, before you do, it may help to understand your rights and legal options.