Crime Prevention

CDL AND TRUCKING VIOLATIONS

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THE BASICS OF TRUCKING VIOLATIONS

If you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and you are a truck driver, it important to realize the impact of any traffic violation on your ability to keep your CDL and drive a truck in Illinois. Hundreds of truck drivers in the Chicagoland area receive a disqualification and lose their CDL driving privileges every year due to traffic infractions and violations.

There are generally four types of disqualifications –major offenses, serious traffic violations, railroad crossing offenses, and for violating out-of-service orders. In Illinois, there are several different types of violations which can lead to the suspension or revocation of your CDL license. If you are faced with major or more serious traffic violations, your CDL privileges will likely be revoked or even permanently disqualified.

Call Wachnik Law LLC at 847-892-5060 today to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.

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DISQUALIFICATION FOR A MAJOR VIOLATION

If you have a CDL and have been charged with what is classified as a major violation, you will face a one-year revocation of your CDL for a first violation and a lifetime revocation of your CDL for any subsequent violation. Commercial driving necessitates a greater degree of skill, which is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truck drivers to have a CDL.


Specifically, §383.51 of the FMCSA calls for the below disqualifications. However, before your CDL can be disqualified, you will need to be convicted of certain crimes. Simply being charged with a crime will not lead to the disqualification of your CDL. Moreover, for purposes of your CDL, a disposition of supervision is considered a conviction on your commercial motor vehicle record. While a court supervision can be a favorable disposition for most drivers in Illinois, it is not acceptable for a CDL holder. For most traffic violations, the Illinois Secretary of State will treat court supervision as a conviction.

Specifically, in terms of DUI and related offenses, the FMCSA essentially states that a CDL driver faces a one-year disqualification from driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for a first-time DUI or DUI-related suspension, and a lifetime disqualification for a second DUI or DUI-related suspension. (Again, a sentence of court supervision is considered a conviction for purposes of these regulations). It is imperative that all CDL holders who are arrested for a DUI in Illinois obtain a highly qualified DUI specialist attorney.


The following violations may also result in severe consequences to your CDL:

Private Vehicle Violations​

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol under Illinois law

  • Driving under the influence of a controlled substance

  • Refusing to take any field sobriety tests while being investigated for driving under the influence of alcohol

  • Using the vehicle to commit a felony

  • Using the vehicle in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance

  • Leaving the scene of an accident

CDL Specific Violations

  • Having a blood alcohol concentration of .04 or greater while operating a commercial motor vehicle

  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle when your CDL is not valid (when it is revoked, suspended, or canceled) or if you are disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle

  • Causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a commercial drivers license, (such as manslaughter, homicide by motor vehicle and negligent homicide)

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DISQUALIFICATION FOR A SERIOUS TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS

A driver is disqualified from operating a CMV if while driving a personal vehicle he commits two serious traffic violations within a three-year period. If a CDL holder has committed a serious traffic violation for a second time within three years, that CDL holder may be facing a 60-day disqualification, and a third violation within three years could result in a 120-day disqualification. As such, below are the offenses which are considered to be serious traffic violations. Again, for purposes of your CDL, a disposition of supervision is considered a conviction on your commercial motor vehicle record.

  • Speeding excessively, involving any speed of 15 mph or more above the posted speed limit

  • Driving recklessly, as defined by State or local law or regulation, including but not limited to, offenses of driving a motor vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property

  • Making improper or erratic traffic lane changes

  • Following the vehicle ahead too closely

  • Violating Illinois law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) arising in connection with a fatal accident

  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle without obtaining a CDL

  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a CDL in the driver’s possession

  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle without the proper class of CDL

The CDL and traffic violation attorneys at Wachnik Law LLC will fight for you to keep your CDL no matter what your circumstances are. Eryk Wachnik has years of experience in courts within the Chicagoland, suburban Cook County area and has represented drivers in Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Kane County, McHenry County and Will County. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation with Attorney Eryk Wachnik, call us today at 847-892-5060 or contact us online.