If you have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in Texas, you will be facing a much higher level of scrutiny in the eyes of the police. As a possessor of a CDL you will need to be more careful and will have stricter rules to follow in order to stay in compliance with the law. You will need to be paying attention behind the wheel even more so than you would if you were driving a car. By driving a truck with a trailer and hauling different levels of cargo, there are restrictions and additional rules you need to comply with.
In order to obtain a CDL in Texas, you will need to fulfill at least two requirements before you are able to attempt to acquire the license. The first is you need to be 21 years old and the second is that you need to have been a licensed driver for a year. If you fulfill these two requirements, you are able to work towards getting your CDL in either a class A, B or C. You will also need to explore which classifications you are looking to get on the license. The different classifications are for passenger vehicles, air brakes, hazardous materials, combination vehicles, tankers and multiple trailers. These are all classifications and endorsements you will need based on the type of driving you are looking to do with your CDL.
You can lose points on your commercial driver's license in Texas for moving violations such as speeding or missing a stop sign. The usual point total on your license for any moving violation is 2 points. These points stay on your license for three years from the date of conviction. You will also face a fine of $100 for if you accumulate 6 points over the course of three years.
With a CDL, weight violations will vary based on the amount of weight you are over the limit. The fines are $220 for up to 5,000 pounds over, $520 for 5,001 to 10,000 pounds over and $1020 for anything 10,001 pounds and over. Logbook violations will cost $145. If you have lane violations, grade violations or speed while towing a trailer, your fine will be a flat fee of $220.
In Texas, you are considered to be legally over the limit of intoxication if you test .04 or higher. If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you will lose your CDL for one year. If you are convicted a second time, you will lose your CDL for life. If convicted of a DUI while driving hazardous chemicals, you will lose your license for three years. This is in addition to the misdemeanor and fines you will have on your record as well as any jail time associated with a DUI in Texas. This will mean 72 hours in jail for the first offense.
If you face traffic violations with your Texas CDL that are out of state, you will face the punishments and fines applicable to Texas. These are not to be overlooked and you could in fact be charged in the other state as well, depending on how its laws read.
Hiring an attorney is usually your best option in order to save your CDL. Consult a lawyer for advice on whether to plead guilty or not guilty. They will also advise you on how to lower your fines and keep your license so you can continue to work.