According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, a commercial drivers license (CDL) holder is permitted to operate a commercial and non-commercial vehicle under a single license. However, penalties for moving violations or DUIs apply to both the personal and commercial license.
When establishing an offender's penalties, Missouri law permits its courts to consider any traffic infractions or other violations occurring in other states. This means that an individual could be considered a second or repeat offender in Missouri based on a foreign ticket or traffic conviction and find himself subject to additional penalties. Moreover, Missouri mandates that its courts run a check on the last 10 years of a convicted traffic offender's driving history, to determine whether any out-of-state tickets or infractions exist.
For all traffic infractions in Missouri, there is no distinction between a private and commercial vehicle. This means that violations occurring while the offender was driving a private apply to their commercial license, and vice versa. Therefore, a CDL holder may lose his commercial driving privileges for infractions committed while driving his personal automobile under their private license.
Missouri considers speeding, lane violations and failing to stop as moving violations, regardless of whether the CDL holder was towing a trailer at the time of the infraction. Speeding fines in the state increase based on the speed with which the driver exceeded the posted limit. They begin at $73 and increase approximately $5 for each five miles over the limit. Lane violations and failing to stop are penalized with an $83 fine.
Additionally, these infractions result in the assessment of fines against the drivers licenses. Speeding and failing to stop carry a two point penalty, while lane violations carry three points of a penalty.
License suspension is possible if the driver is convicted of multiple violations within a certain period of time and has points assessed against their license. A CDL holder with eight points assessed against it within an 18 month period results in a 30 day license suspension and 180 days if the driver was driving a commercial vehicle and towing hazardous materials. Two moving violations within a three year period results in a three year CDL suspension.
The driver of trailer that exceeds the state's maximum weight limits is fined for each pound exceeding the limit. The dollar amount for each pound varies and is set by the county. Log book violations are punished by an approximately $300 fine for each occurrence. Violations of grade restrictions are also penalized by an approximate $300 fine.
A CDL holder in Missouri breaks the law when he operates a commercial vehicle with more than a .04 percent blood-alcohol level. Penalties for a first DUI include imprisonment for up to six months, a maximum of a $500 fine, and a 30 day license suspension. A second DUI is penalized by no more than a year in prison, a maximum of a $1,000 fine, and a year-long license suspension. A CDL has his commercial license suspended for a year after his first conviction and permanently revoked after a second conviction.
CDL holders are not permitted to attend driver's instruction to reduce the amount of points levied against their license or the length of time their license is suspended. A case can only be dismissed if no evidence of the infraction is submitted to the court prior to trial. Generally, during a trial an attorney or the CDL holder will attempt to defend his client or himself by showing that the evidence does not support the allegations of a DUI or other traffic infraction.
If your CDL is in jeopardy because of a DUI or other moving violation, seek legal representation. A lawyer will review your case and discuss the possible penalties you face as well as how to defend yourself.