commercial drivers license suspensionAny operator of a commercial vehicle in Georgia must have in his or her possession a valid commercial driver’s license. Disqualifications and Suspensions A person is disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least 60 days if convicted of 2 serious traffic violations within a 3 year period, and 120 days for 3 serious traffic violations within a 3 year period, whether in a commercial or non commercial vehicle .(see below for definition of serious traffic violation) Both Federal regulations and Georgia state law establish the criteria for commercial drivers license diqualifications. Any person is disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle for at least 1 year if convicted of a first violation of:

1. Any of the mandatory suspendable offenses in OCGA 40-5-54, whether in a commercial or non commercial vehicle;

2. Failure to report the striking of an unattended vehicle in violation of OCGA 40-6-271;

3. Failure to report striking of a fixed object in violation of OCGA 40-6-272;

4. Failure to report an accident in violation of 40-6-273;

5. Driving or being in control of a moving commercial vehicle while there is .04 per cent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood;

6. DUI, in a commercial or non commercial vehicle;

7. Refusing to submit to a breath, blood or urine test to determine if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs

A conviction of 2 or more of the above offenses, within a 5 year period, results in disqualification of commercial vehicle license for life! A CDL licensee is disqualified for 3 years if convicted of using a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony, while any commercial driver who is convicted of using a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony relating to the manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs is disqualified for life! A limited permit is not available for operating a commercial vehicle. A nolo (no contest) plea will not be accepted for any conviction received in the operation of a commercial vehicle. Serious traffic violations committed in commercial or non commercial vehicles are:

1. Speeding more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit;

2. Reckless driving;

3. Following too closely;

4. Improper lane change;

5. A violation, arising in connection with a fatal accident relating to motor vehicle traffic control, excluding parking, weight, length, height, and vehicle defect violations;

6. A railroad crossing violation;

7. Driving a commercial vehicle without obtaining a commercial driver’s vehicle;

8. Driving a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL in your immediate possession;

9. Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a CDL of the proper class.

The trucking industry’s current $610 billion dollar revenue stream is estimated to double by the year 2015. This revenue increase also brings increased rates of trucking accidents and a subsequent increase of commercial driver traffic offenses. The technical definition of a trucking accident is defined as the collision of large trailers (10,000+ lbs.) with other vehicles or pedestrians. The sheer size of commercial trucks, regardless of the accident’s cause, can make them instantly deadly to colliding passenger vehicles. According to national traffic statistics, one out of every eight traffic deaths stem from trucking collisions. With so much liability on the line, it is imperative that commercial drivers involved in an accident, or accused of a traffic related offense in Georgia, contact a lawyer with specific knowledge of Georgia’s commercial driving statutes.