Georgia commercial drivers license (CDL) holders can be fined, have points levied against their license or even be sentenced to jail time for moving violations. These punishments are possible regardless of whether the CDL holder was driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the violation or if the violation occurred out of state.
Georgia considers speeding and failing to stop as moving violations. The state is unique in that fines for speeding are set by the county court with jurisdiction over the speeding ticket and not the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, the Chapter 40 section 6-181 of the state’s statutes establishes an additional fine of $200 for any ticket in which the driver exceeded traveling more than 75-85 miles per hour, depending on the type of road on which he was traveling. These fines apply to CDL holders, regardless of whether the commercial vehicle was towing a trailer at the time of the offense. Contact your local county court to determine the speeding fines charged to CDL holders.
Despite not setting fines, the DMV can ascribe a variety of points to a CDL for speeding and failing to stop. Two points are normally levied for speeding by one to 10 miles per hour above the speed limit. A maximum of six points can be levied. A CDL holder may also have their license suspended for having multiple moving violations within three years. Two or more violations within a three year period are punishable by a three year CDL suspension. CDL holders towing hazardous materials at the time of their offense receive a minimum of a three year license suspension.
CDL-specific violations in Georgia include being overweight, failing to record all necessary information in a log book, violating grade restrictions and lane violations. Here again, the county court establishes the specific fine for each different violation, but in general fines range between $75 to 150. Points may also be levied against the CDL.
Georgia CDL holders receive extra punishments for a first or second DUI in addition to the typical punishments. The state’s penalties for a first DUI include a fine of $300 to 1,000, depending on the court’s discretion, attendance at a state risk reduction program, 40 hours of community service, and anywhere from 10 days to one year in prison. Penalties for a second violation include a fine of $600 to $1,000 dollars, a clinical evaluation to see if alcohol treatment is necessary, and a minimum of 72 hours in jail.
However, CDL holders also have their license suspended for a first DUI and their license revoked for their lifetime for a second DUI. Georgia offers CDL holders who have had their license revoked for their lifetime to reduce the revocation to 10 years if they prove to the DMV that they have been rehabilitated.
A CDL holder in Georgia convicted of moving or other traffic violations can plead no contest to the charges, but only if they have not had any previous violations within the past five years. Otherwise, they must plead guilty and accept the court’s punishment or take their case to trial.
To defend against charges, the CDL holder or their attorney will need to prove that there is insufficient evidence to support the charges or that there has been no evidence supplied of the charges. A case can only be dismissed on the grounds of lack of evidence.
If you are facing traffic violations and believe that the validity of your CDL may be in danger, seek the advice of an attorney. A lawyer will discuss the punishments that may apply to you and how to best defend your license.