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Protecting Your Commercial Driver’s License

detail shot of semi truck

If you drive for a living and hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you already know that you face tougher scrutiny for any traffic citations. You must follow many regulations, and a traffic violation could cost you your livelihood. If you lose your CDL, even for a short time, you could lose your job.

The skilled defense attorneys at Randall & Bruch, PC, understand what is at stake for you with your traffic violation. While other people may be able to brush off even a serious traffic citation, you cannot afford a tarnished driving record. We have the experience and skill to help you fight the charges and protect your license.

Major Violations vs. Serious Violations

Virginia Code § 46.2-341.18 contains a long list of violations that can jeopardize your CDL. These consist of major violations and serious violations. Just one conviction of a major violation can result in the revocation of your CDL for one to five years. A second conviction from a separate incident can result in a lifetime ban. Examples of major violations include but are not limited to:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI): Note that when driving a commercial vehicle, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is only .04% rather than Virginia’s regular legal limit of .08% BAC.
  • Test refusal: When you are operating a commercial vehicle, you must submit to breath or chemical testing if an officer suspects you of DUI.
  • Hit and run: If you fail to stop and provide information at the scene of an accident, you violate the law.
  • Illegal activity: You cannot use a commercial vehicle to engage in an illegal activity such as moving a controlled substance or human trafficking.

Serious traffic violations will also cause you trouble but on a smaller scale. A few examples of the many offenses in this category include:

  • Reckless driving
  • Driving more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit
  • Erratic lane changes
  • Committing a traffic offense that results in a fatal accident
  • Operating a commercial vehicle outside of the class for which you are licensed or endorsed

If you are cited for any serious traffic violation while operating your commercial vehicle and are convicted twice within three years, that could disqualify your CDL for 60 days. Three convictions in that period could disqualify it for 120 days.

Does It Matter If You Are Driving Your Personal Vehicle?

Even if you are driving a non-commercial vehicle at the time that you receive a citation, you can still lose your CDL. Violating certain serious offenses twice in a three-year period can result in a disqualification of 60 days, and three times could disqualify your license for 120 days. One of those convictions must result in the loss of your ability to drive because of a driver’s license suspension, revocation, or cancellation.

Find Out More

Find out how we can help you protect your CDL. We offer free initial consultations to get started. To schedule your appointment, please call 757-742-6115 or send us an online message. We have several locations in Hampton Roads and Southeastern Virginia, and we will help you find the office most convenient for you.

jack t randall

Written By Jack T. Randall


As lifelong resident of Western Tidewater, Jack Randall is a local attorney who wants the best results for his clients. He is an experienced and aggressive attorney with focus on family law, criminal and traffic law, as well as personal injury law cases.