Having a commercial driver's license (CDL) in West Virginia entails certain responsibilities. When it comes to incurring traffic violations, an individual with a CDL gains more points, has higher fines and may do jail time. Furthermore, someone with a CDL can lose their license for life for certain traffic violations. This can come about because of a CDL specific violation or a common moving violation. While the federal government regulates certain transportation issues, the state of West Virginia devises and sets its own specific regulations.
Common CDL moving violations include speeding, reckless driving, failure to yield or to obey stop signs. All involve an increase in points in West Virginia. These range from 2 to 6 points, and fines vary. An average fine for speeding, for example, is a maximum of $100. In all instances, there is no jail time for these moving violations. In the case of reckless driving, however, you could pay up to $2,500, serve up to 12 months in jail and have your CDL suspended for 6 months.
In the case of aggravating factors such as injury or vehicular homicide, imprisonment is a distinct possibility. What is definite is an increase in the length of suspension of your CDL. The standard period is between 60 and 120 days. In general, a license is suspended for longer periods if a CDL holder has more than a 12-point accumulation. Suspension can range from one year, to three years to life.
Some violations occur only to those who drive under a CDL. Some, such as overweight loads, can cost money. An individual in West Virginia can be charged with a fine as little as $20, and one as high as $1,600 for carrying too much weight. Fines are also laid for those who do not carry out proper logbook procedures.
Lane violations can result in a license suspension from 60 to 120 days. The same applies for grade violations and trailer towing while speeding. In addition, CDL holders may accrue 3 points. According to West Virginia legislation, if an individual has 12 points with this infraction, it results in an automatic suspension of 30 days. If the points accumulated are more than 20, the CDL is suspended until the points are reduced to 11 or less.
For a CDL holder, the blood alcohol content for a DUI is 0.04, stricter than it is for someone with a regular license. The first DUI for someone with a CDL in West Virginia will cost you between $25 and $100. It will also result in suspension of your CDL for one year. A second offense of DUI has fines of $100 to $500. You also spend 24 hours in jail and lose your CDL for life.
If you suffer from a revocation, refusal or suspension of a CDL, you cannot drive a commercial vehicle in West Virginia. Even if you do not have a long suspension, the acquiring of points will result in an increase in the insurance of both you and your employer. As a result, the trucking company may decide to let you go.
In addition to this, the loss of a CDL in West Virginia will prevent you from working in any other state. West Virginia is part of the Driver's License Compact. This means, no matter what state you move to and live in, your record will follow you. You cannot obtain a CDL legally while under a suspension in West Virginia.
When faced with the possible loss of employment or revocation, suspension or denial of a CDL, you only have one option. Talk to a qualified West Virginia attorney. He or she will be able to help you prepare an appropriate defense. It may be arranged to deduct the points by taking a driving course (particularly for first time speeding). It is possible to deduct as many as three points this way. Your lawyer will also review the case to see if procedural mistakes occurred. A skilled West Virginia attorney can help you discover whether dismissal is an option.