Idaho CDL Traffic Violations: Commercial License Issues

Penalties for moving violations and DUIs committed by an Idaho commercial driver's license (DCL) holder are established in Chapter 49 of the state's statutes and by the state's supreme court. In general, Idaho increases the penalties for moving infractions committed by CDL holders, regardless of whether the violation occurred in another state or if the offender was driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the infraction.

Out of State Infractions

When determining the applicable penalty for traffic violations and DUIs, Idaho courts consider all out-of-state tickets and violations. This means that an offender in Idaho might be considered a second-time offender and find their punishments increased.

Moving Violations in Idaho

Idaho law considers speeding, failing to stop at a red light or sign, and lane violations as moving violations. Violations of state speeding, stopping and lane laws are punished by points being levied against the driver's commercial license and the assessment of fines, regardless of whether they were hauling a trailer at the time of the infraction. Exceeding the speed limit by up to 15 miles per hour results in three points levied on the CDL holder's license as punishment, and exceeding the limit by 16 or more miles per hour by four points. Lane violations, which include illegally switching lanes or following too closely, are penalized by three points against a license.

Fines for these violations vary each year, but in 2011 were set at $47 for exceeding the speed limit by up to 15 miles per hour and $102 for exceeding the limit by 16 or more miles per hour. Speeding in a work zone is penalized by an additional fine of $50.

A second violation of any of the state's traffic rules within a five year period of the first can result in larger fines and more points. Generally, fines increase $50 and an additional point ascribed for a second violation.

CDL-Specific Violations

CDL violations such as being overweight, log book violations and grade violations are considered CDL-specific violations. These are penalized by the levying of points and assessment of fines against the commercial license. Fines for these violations range from $100 to $500, but each receives a three point penalization against the license.

DUI Penalties

A CDL holder in Idaho convicted of a DUI puts his commercial license at risk, regardless of whether he committed the crime while driving a commercial vehicle. Penalties for a first DUI offense include a maximum of six months in jail, a $1,000 fine and a minimum of a 90 day private license suspension. A second DUI is penalized by a minimum of 10 days in jail, a maximum fine of $2,000, a one year private license suspension and the installation of an ignition interlock device on the offender's vehicle.

CDL holders convicted of a first DUI have their commercial license suspended for a year; CDL holders convicted of a second DUI within 10 years of the first have their commercial license permanently revoked.

Defending A CDL

Idaho permits CDL holders to plead guilty, not guilty or enter into a plea agreement with the state's prosecutor. Because of the statutory and administrative rules establishing the fines and point punishments for moving and DUI violations, penalties for pleading guilty and entering into a plea agreement will not vary.

If the CDL holder chooses to plead not guilty and take their case to trial, they must prove that the evidence does not support the accusations made against them. A lawyer will also likely try to prove this to defend their client. A case can only be dismissed if there is no evidence filed with the court that concerns the infraction.

Getting Legal Advice

If you have been charged with a moving violation or DUI in Idaho and believe that your CDL is in jeopardy, seek legal advice. A lawyer will review your situation and discuss the state-prescribed penalties that could apply and that you may face if convicted.

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