Drivers in Florida with a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) face stiffer fines and points than non-CDL drivers for the same types of violations and charges. In addition, CDL drivers have to keep accurate log books, ensure they are driving on the right roads for their load weight and avoid driving in a manner that may be seen as reckless or negligent. These types of charges carry the heaviest of penalties, often resulting in loss of the ability to hold a CDL in the future.
All holders of CDLs must notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles with the state of Florida within 30 days of being convicted of any type of moving violation in any other state. Failure to make this written report can result in suspension or revocation of the CDL. Within the state of Florida, tickets and points for those holding CDLs are more significant than non-professional drivers. Speeding ticket points are assigned based on the speed above the posted limit when the ticket was issued. Running a red light, failure to stop or failure to yield points are also enhanced for a CDL and can be coupled with other charges if any type of damages or personal injury occurrs.
CDL holders have additional issues to worry about besides moving violations. They have to keep their logbooks up to date and accurate or they can face stiff penalties. Other CDL specific violations will include speeding while towing a trailer, and violations of lane and grade restrictions. In most cases it is an accumulation of the points that leads to the suspension of the license. 12 points in 12 months will cause a 30-day suspension, while a full year of suspension occurs if you have 24 points that have accumulated in the last 36 months of driving.
The state of Florida is very active in pursuing DUI cases for individuals with CDLs. If you are stopped in your commercial motor vehicle or in a private vehicle, the results will be the same. This can include the loss of your license for up to one year on a first offense, and the permanent loss of your CDL on the second offense. It is important to remember that when operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) the legal BAC is 0.04 percent. The state law of 0.08 percent BAC will be used when a CDL operator is driving a personal vehicle. There are no hardship options to continue to work once a license has been revoked for a second DUI with a CDL.
Any moving violations, tickets and charges from outside of the state can and will also count against your CDL license. In general, a first conviction of a serious violation results in suspension of the license and, depending on the specific violation, a second can result in revocation of the license. Any accidents resulting in property damage or bodily harm are more significant, even on a first offense with a prior clean driving record.
In the state of Florida it is still possible to fight CDL violations, which is your only option to protect your ability to earn a living. Traffic school is not really an option for CDL holders in the state to avoid having points assigned to their license, but it can be if it is court ordered. An experienced attorney may be able to have your case dismissed if the ticket was inaccurately issued, or they may be able to negotiate with the court to allow you to attend traffic school to avoid the costly points on your license.