Commercial Driver’s License suspensions can be even more problematic than a normal driver’s license suspension because many CDL drivers have that license as part of their job, meaning a suspension could cost them their source of income. Also, since CDL drivers are usually driving heavy machinery or potentially dangerous freights, they are held to higher standards than normal drivers and can have their license suspended more easily. Today, we take a look at what can cause you to have your CDL suspended, and how you can contest a suspension in Minnesota.
Commercial Driver’s License Suspension
If you commit any of the following actions, you may have your CDL suspended or revoked in Minnesota.
- Caught driving with a blood alcohol content over 0.04%. While the legal driving limit for the average driver is 0.08%, it is half as much for drivers with a CDL. This will result in a one-year CDL suspension.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Using your commercial motor vehicle to commit a felony offense, including the manufacturing, sale or distribution of a controlled substance.
- Negligent driving that results in a death.
- Being convicted of certain offenses in other states.
- Operating a commercial motor vehicle when your license has previously been suspended, revoked or disqualified. If you drive without a valid CDL, you may be subject to a $5,000 fine and the possibility of jail time. Employers who know their drivers are operating without the proper license will face the same potential penalties.
If you have your CDL suspended for any of the above reasons, you are required to notify your employer within 30 days of the conviction.
CDL Suspension Penalties
If you commit any of the above violations, here’s what you can expect to happen.
First Offense – CDL disqualification for one year, or three years if you’re transporting hazardous materials.
Second Offense – CDL disqualification for life, although reinstatement may be possible after 10 years.
The traffic offenses listed above will result in your CDL suspension, but there are other minor violations that can also affect your CDL. These minor violations include:
- Reckless driving/Excessive speeding.
- Improper lane changes.
- Following too closely behind other vehicles.
- Violating any motor vehicle traffic control law that results in a fatal accident.
- Operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL or the proper paperwork.
If you commit any of those violations, here’s how they can affect your CDL:
First Offense – Traffic citation, but no CDL disqualification.
Second Offense (within three years) – CDL disqualification for 60 days.
Third Offense (within three years) – CDL disqualification for 120 days.
If you have a CDL, but the above violations occur while you’re driving your personal car, they will not affect your CDL, unless your primary driver’s license is suspended or revoked.
Contesting A CDL Suspension in Minnesota
As you can see, it doesn’t take much for your CDL to be suspended or disqualified, and since you likely depend on that license as part of your employment, it is imperative that you contest the suspension in court. Fighting these charges is similar to fighting a normal traffic ticket, but since more is on the line, your best bet is to do it with an attorney by your side.
Avery Appelman and his team of trusted attorneys have been contesting CDL suspensions and traffic violations for nearly two decades, and he can help you in a sticky situation. When your CDL is on the line, trust Avery Appelman to help you hold onto your license. He offers a free case evaluation where you can sit down with him and talk about all your options so you can achieve the best outcome for your specific situation. To set that up or to learn more, reach out to his office today.