COMMERCIAL TRUCK DRIVERS CDL PENALTIES IN MASSACHUSETTS
Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is no easy task. It doesn’t only require you to pay fees but you need to undergo rigorous skills and knowledge tests as well. In the state of Massachusetts and all states in the US, it is a federal requirement to have minimum standards for the licensing of commercial drivers. This means that you have to take and pass general knowledge test, passenger transport test, air brakes test, on-road test, basic vehicle control, vehicle inspection test, and other tests for you to be a qualified Commercial Driver’s License holder. Not to mention that you also need to pass medical documents to ensure that you are able enough to drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV).
While it’s true that obtaining a CDL requires you to higher driving standards under federal regulations, it is also true that actually maintaining a CDL proves to be a tougher job. Your CDL can be legally suspended for any offense which you commit, regardless of whether the violation was committed while operating a CMV, a motorcycle, or even your own vehicle. In case you were proven to violate traffic or criminal laws, your CDL is subjected to suspension or disqualification and you can even go to jail, depending on your violation.
Commercial Driver’s License violations and its penalties:
The general rule goes that you must not, at any circumstances, drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) if your CDL is disqualified for any reason.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenses, such as:
- Operating a CMV when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.04% or more – Penalty: You shall be deemed to give your consent to alcohol testing and suspension of your CDL for at least 1 year for the first offense.
- Driving a CMV while under the influence of illegal drugs or controlled substance – Penalty for first offense: Disqualification of CDL for at least 1 year
- Refusal to alcohol testing – Penalty for first offense: Disqualification of CDL for at least 1 year
- If you have a BAC below 0.04% – Penalty: out-of-service for 24 hours
- Operating a CMV with a suspended, revoked, or cancelled license – Penalty for first offense: Disqualification of CDL for at least 1 year
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving a CMV – Penalty for first offense: Disqualification of CDL for at least 1 year
- Committing a felony involving a CMV – Penalty for first offense: Disqualification of CDL for at least 1 year
- Causing a death or fatality due to negligent driving of CMV – Penalty for first offense: Disqualification of CDL for at least 1 year
According to the Commercial Driver’s License Manual, you will lose your CDL for at least 3 years if the following offenses occurred while operating a CMV that is transporting a load of hazardous materials. And you will lose your CDL for life for a second offense and for committing a felony involving controlled substances while operating a CMV.
MULTIPLE SERIOUS TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS:
- Excessive speeding for 15 mph or more over the speed limit
- Reckless driving
- Driving without obtaining a CDL or without your CDL in your possession.
- Following a vehicle too closely
- Traffic violations committed in a CMV involving a fatal traffic accident
- Operating a CMV without the proper CDL class or endorsement.
*Penalty: You will lose your CDL for at least 60 days for violating 2 serious traffic violations within a 3-year period while driving a CMV. And for at least 120 days for 3 or more serious traffic violations within a 3-year period.
RAILROAD CROSSING OFFENSES:
- Failing to stop CMV before reaching the crossing if the tracks are not clear of an approaching train.
- Failing to stop when required.
- Failing to obey a traffic control device or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing.
- Failing to cross correctly due to insufficient undercarriage clearance.
- Crossing a railroad when there isn’t enough space
– First offense: 60 days suspension of CDL
– Second offense: 120 days suspension of CDL
– Third offense and additional violations: 1 year suspension of CDL
OUT-OF-SERVICE ORDER VIOLATIONS
Failure to follow an out-of-service order such as failing to take appropriate breaks and rest is subjected to:
– First offense: 90 days – 1 year suspension
*If transporting 16 passengers or more and carrying hazardous materials – 180 days – 2 years suspension
– Second offense: 1 – 5 years suspension
*If transporting 16 passengers or more and carrying hazardous materials – 3 – 5 years suspension
– Third offense and additional violations: 3 – 5 years suspension