The State of Kentucky requires drivers of specific commercial vehicles to carry a commercial drivers license (CDL). Kentucky classifies these vehicles A through C with each class varying by type and weight. Class A includes any class of vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. Class B vehicles include any straight truck with two or more axles and a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, as well as vehicles with two or more axles and a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more that pull a vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less. Vehicles classified as a C CDL are vehicles with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds used to transport hazardous material that require placarding and vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or less that transport more than 15 passengers including the driver.
Exemptions to CDL requirements include farm vehicles, emergency vehicles, military vehicles and recreational vehicles. CDL privileges are particularly restrictive. Therefore, those who are convicted of certain traffic violations may face disqualification of their CDL privileges. Disqualification may run for months or for more serious violations may be for a lifetime.
Serious violations such as those listed below may result in disqualification of CDL privileges:
If a driver's privilege to operate a personal vehicle is revoked, canceled or suspended because of traffic violations (these do not include parking violations), the driver will also lose his CDL driving privileges.
CDL specific violations include the following:
Railroad-highway grade crossing include the following six violations:
Any of these violations may result in a period of disqualification.
Alcohol-related violations are very serious CDL violations. In Kentucky, it is prohibited for a CDL holder to operate a commercial vehicle with any amount of alcohol or controlled substance in the blood, urine or breath. A blood alcohol content (BAC) of .01 percent to .039 percent will place the driver out of service for 24 hours. Drivers whose BAC tests at .04 percent will be disqualified for a year. A second conviction on separate similar violations result in a lifetime disqualification. Penalties apply only to operation of a commercial vehicle.
CDL violations incur the following:
A CDL holder will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life if he uses the vehicle in the commission of a felony that involves the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance, or possession with the intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense a controlled substance.
If you are a CDL holder, the disqualification of your privileges can impede your ability to earn a living. Even if you receive a ticket for what seems like a minor traffic violation, the consequences may not be minor. Additionally, violations in your personal vehicle may disqualify you from operating a commercial motor vehicle. The best defense is to ensure that your legal rights and CDL rights are sufficiently protected by legal representation. An experienced attorney will be able to investigate the circumstances regarding the violation to determine your best defense.