It is often said that driving is a privilege, not a right. That is why there are strict laws in place for anyone who operates a motor vehicle. Obtaining a driver’s license is a rite of passage for teenagers once they turn 16 in Illinois. As in most states, new Illinois drivers must complete a driver education course and behind-the-wheel training before receiving a valid driver’s license. For those who are in the working world and in an industry where they are going to be driving a truck, tractor-trailer, or multi-passenger vehicle for their job, they will need to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). While anyone who violates a traffic law can be subject to criminal penalties, CDL drivers may face harsher consequences.
Under Illinois law, a CDL must be obtained for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that weigh 26,001 or more pounds or that transport hazardous materials or 16 or more occupants. There are three classes of CDLs based on the weight of the truck and/or trailer. Class A refers to tractor-trailers, also known as semi-trucks, big rigs, or 18-wheelers. Class B includes straight trucks, buses, segmented buses, box trucks, and dump trucks. Class C is for double/triple trailers, buses, tank trucks, and HazMat vehicles. It is important to note that CMVs that are operated for recreational, military, or emergency response duties are exempt from the standard CDL requirements.
Serious Traffic Violations
The improper use of a CDL or committing a serious traffic violation can result in license revocation or disqualification. A “serious traffic violation” includes the following actions or behaviors:
Speeding 15 mph or more over the limit
Erratic lane changes
Following too closely (tailgating)
Texting while driving a CMV
A traffic violation involving a fatality
- Driving a CMV without a valid license or endorsement
Illinois Penalties for CDL Drivers
If a CDL driver receives multiple serious traffic violations within a three-year period, his or her license may be revoked. In addition, a driver can face $2,750 to $25,000 in fines and the following license penalties:
- First offense within 10 years: Six-month license disqualification
- Second offense within 10 years: Two-year license disqualification
- Third offense within 10 years: Three-year license disqualification
It is important to note that in any of the above situations, the CDL can be disqualified for a longer period of time if the CMV is used for HazMat operations or transports 16 or more passengers. Additionally, if the violation is a major criminal offense, such as DUI, using a CMV during a felony, driving a CMV while revoked, the punishment can include a lifetime disqualification without the possibility of a CDL reinstatement.
Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer
All motorists must obey the rules of the road, but some drivers have specific regulations they must follow. If you drive a commercial vehicle for a living and you received a citation for violating a traffic law in Illinois, it is important to seek professional legal counsel. At Anderson Attorneys & Advisors, we understand the impact a ticket can have on your livelihood. Our knowledgeable Wheaton traffic violations defense attorneys will ensure your rights are protected and help you maintain a clean driving record. To request a free consultation, call us today at 630-877-5800.
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