Commercial drivers license (CDL) holders in Kansas may find their commercial license in jeopardy for violating traffic or DUI laws, regardless of whether they were driving a private vehicle at the time of the violation. The Kansas Legislature establishes the fines and other penalties for violating speeding, stopping, grade and lane restrictions, and DUIs. These laws are established in Chapter 8-2142 of the state's statutes.
Chapter 8 of the state's statutes permits Kansas courts to consider out of state tickets, DUIs and other traffic violations when determining the applicable penalties for an offender. This means that a CDL holder can find himself or herself punished as a second time offender for a violation occurring in Kansas due to having committed a previous violation outside of the state.
Kansas law does not distinguish between commercial and non-commercial vehicles for moving violations, CDL-specific violations and DUIs. This means that a CDL holder may find their CDL use restricted or revoked based on their actions while driving a private vehicle.
In Kansas, failing to stop, speeding, lane violations and any other non-parking violations are considered moving violations. These violations are punished by fines, ranging from $30 to a maximum of $500, depending on the seriousness of the violation. These fines apply regardless of whether the offender was driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the offense.
The law also allows license suspension of the offender's private and commercial license for having multiple moving violations within a three year period. A second violation within three years results in a 60 day license suspension, and a third garners a 120 day license suspension.
Kansas CDL holders can violate CDL-specific traffic laws. Log book violations, being overweight and violating grade restrictions are CDL violations. Each one is punishable by a fine of not more than $500. However, an overweight commercial vehicle driver may receive the additional punishment of having their trailer detached or moved from its location by state troopers.
First time DUI offenders in Kansas are subject to a minimum of 48 hours in jail, a $5,00 to $1,000 fine and a 30 day license suspension. Second time offenders are subject to a minimum of 90 days in jail, a $1,000 to $1,500 fine and a year-long license suspension. CDL holders who are first time DUI offenders will have their commercial license suspended for a year; CDL holders who are second time DUI offenders will have their commercial license permanently revoked. A CDL holder who refuses to submit to a breathalyzer or other alcohol testing when they are suspected of driving while intoxicated has their license permanently revoked.
Kansas permits CDL holders to plead guilty and accept the court's punishment, plead not guilty and proceed to trial or enter into a plea agreement with the state's prosecution. Because penalties for moving violations, CDL-violations and DUIs are prescribed by statute, the penalties ascribed after a guilty plea or in a plea agreement will be similar. A CDL holder cannot attend driving school or alcohol or drug treatment to reduce the penalties levied against them.
During trial, the only way to have a DUI or other traffic violation dismissed is to demonstrate that the Kansas Highway Patrol did not provide any evidence of its claims. If evidence exists and dismissal of the case is impossible, an attorney will try to prove that the evidence does not demonstrate that a violation occurred.
If your Kansas CDL license is threatened by a moving violation or DUI filed against you, seek legal representation. A lawyer will review the facts of your case and discuss whether you may lose your license for a period of time and the other penalties that may be levied.