Commercial Driver’s License Suspension
Any individual in Georgia operating a commercial vehicle must have possession of a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Disqualifications & Suspensions: An individual is disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle for a minimum of 60 days if convicted of 2 serious traffic violations within a 3 year period. An individual is disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for a minimum of 120 days for 3 serious traffic violations accumulated over a 3 year period, whether in a commercial or non-commercial vehicle.
Both Federal regulations and Georgia state law instituted the criteria for commercial driver’s license disqualifications. Any individual is disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle for a minimum of 1 year for a first violation conviction including:
- Any of the mandatory suspendable offenses in OCGA 40-5-54 (for both commercial & non-commercial vehicles)
- Striking an unattended vehicle & failing to report the collision is in violation of OCGA 40-6-271
- Striking a fixed object & failing to report the collision is in violation of OCGA 40-6-272
- Failing to report an accident in violation of 40-6-273
- Operating a moving commercial vehicle while there is .04% or greater by weight of alcohol in an individual’s blood
- DUI while operating a commercial or non-commercial vehicle
- Refusing to take a breath, blood or urine test to determine if you are DUI of alcohol or drugs
Within a 5 years period, any conviction of 2 or more of the above offenses will result in disqualification of a commercial vehicle license for life! Any individual with a CDL license is disqualified for 3 years if convicted of operating a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony, while any commercial driver who is convicted of operating a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony relating to the manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs will also result in disqualification for life! A limited permit is not available for using a commercial vehicle and a nolo (no contest) plea will not be accepted for any conviction received in the use of a commercial vehicle. Serious traffic infractions committed while operating commercial or non-commercial vehicles include:
- Speeding (15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit)
- Recklessly driving
- Tailing or following too closely
- Improper changing of lanes
- Violations directly in connection with a fatal accident relating to motor vehicle traffic control (excludes parking, weight, length, height & vehicle defect infractions)
- Violating a railroad crossing
- Operating a commercial vehicle without obtaining a commercial driver’s vehicle
- Operating a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL in immediate possession
- Operating a commercial vehicle without a proper class CDL
Recently increased revenue within the trucking industry also brings increased rates of trucking accidents and subsequently an increase of commercial driver traffic offenses. Defined as the collision of large trailers (10,000+ lbs.) with other vehicles or pedestrians, trucking accidents (regardless of the accident’s cause) can become instantly deadly to colliding passenger vehicles due to the sheer size of commercial trucks. In fact, according to national traffic statistics, one out of every eight traffic deaths stem from trucking collisions, therefore, it is imperative that commercial drivers who are involved in a trucking accident have knowledgeable representation from a lawyer who is well versed in Georgia’s commercial driving statutes.