Punishments for holders of a commercial driver's license (CDL) in Nevada are increased for moving and other driving violations. These rules are located in Chapter 484C, sections 120-350 of the state's Revised Statutes. Violations occurring while a commercial driver's license holder is operating a non-commercial vehicle affect their commercial license. Nevada considers all out-of-state tickets and DUI charges when ascribing penalties to offenders.
The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) levies fines and demerits against a driver's license for all moving violations. These fines can be increased for commercial driver's license holders, but neither the DMV nor state statutes prescribe the amount of increase. The state considers speeding, and failing to stop at a red light, when instructed or at a stop sign, as moving violations. Fines and other penalties increase if the violation occurred in a work zone.
The first moving violation is punishable by a $10 fine and one demerit. These penalties apply to exceeding the speed limit by up to five miles per hour. Speeding by up to 10 miles per hour is punishable by a $25 fine and two demerits. The maximum fine for a moving violation is $1,000. The DMV has discretion to suspend the license of a second or third time moving violation offender for up to 60 days for the second offense, and 120 days for the third offense.
Penalties for CDL-specific violations differ depending on type and severity. These rules apply regardless of whether the driver is towing a trailer. CDL-specific violations include violating weight, lane or grade restrictions and not following log book rules. Violating any of these rules results in at least one demerit placed on the license, but the DMV can increase these demerits at its discretion. Additionally, the DMV suspends the commercial license for a minimum of 60 days for a first offense, 120 days for a second offense and one year for a third, up to a maximum of three years. Log book violations are punished by a fine of no more than $1,000.
A commercial driver's license holder proven to have committed a DUI, regardless of whether they were driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the offense, can lose their CDL in addition to their private license. A first violation is considered a misdemeanor by the state and is punishable by less than a year in prison. The maximum fine for a first DUI is $1,000. The offender will also lose their commercial driver's license for a year, or three years if they were transporting hazardous materials at the time of the offense. In addition to fines and imprisonment by a year or longer, a second DUI results in a lifetime revocation of a commercial license.
Nevada allows commercial driver's license holders the unique defense against DUI charges of having consumed alcohol after they stopped driving. This defense must be proven through log book entries and blood alcohol tests.
Offenders can plead guilty and accept the court's punishment, plead not guilty and proceed to trial, or enter into a plea agreement. A plea is a negotiated agreement between the offender and the state's prosecution that delineates the offender's punishments.
Dismissing Nevada traffic violations, including DUI charges, requires proving that there was no violation or that there is no evidence presented of the violations. An attorney will likely try to defend a commercial driver's license holder by showing that the evidence does not support the charges levied against their client. Commercial license holders cannot attend driver education to reduce penalties or avoid having their license suspended or revoked.
If you have a commercial driver's license and are facing moving or other driving violations, seek legal advice. An attorney will review the facts of your case and discuss the potential penalties you may receive if you are found guilty.