Commercial Driver License (CDL) Suspensions
If you hold a commercial driver license (CDL) from Texas you undoubtedly already know that Texas lawmakers have decided to treat you differently. They are not treating you worse than other drivers; rather, they have decided to hold you to a higher standard while operating a motor vehicle because of your extensive training and experience. Because of this high standard, any infractions recorded on a CDL holder’s license can be used against them to prevent them from exercising their CDL privileges. This article will take a look at the various suspensions or disqualifications applicable to CDL holders.
Here are some common ones:
Conviction For: Suspended For
|Alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident or commission of a felony||At least one year|
|Alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident or commission of a felony while operating a commercial motor vehicle placarded for hazardous materials||At least three years for first offense; lifetime for second offense|
|Two serious traffic offenses (i.e. excessive speeding, reckless driving, improper or erratic lane changes, following too closely, etc.) within three years||60 days|
|Three serious traffic offenses (i.e. excessive speeding, reckless driving, improper or erratic lane changes, following too closely, etc.) within three years||120 days|
|Railroad-highway grade crossing violations||60 days for first offense; 120 days for second offense within 3 years; at least 1 year for third offense within 3 years|
|Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony||Lifetime|
The above referenced list is non-exclusive as there are numerous reasons other reasons for suspending a drivers license. Fortunately, if your CDL is pending a suspension, you can request a hearing to contest the suspension. This is called a Drivers License Suspension hearing. At the hearing, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will petition the presiding judge to administratively suspend the CDL for a specified period of time. We can appear on your behalf to defend your position and make DPS prove their case before any suspension may occur. There is no reason to allow DPS to take away a person’s livelihood so easily.
Unfortunately, as with any government process, you must request the hearing timely. Meaning, if you do not request the hearing in writing within 20 days of the date of the notice of suspension that DPS is supposed to send to your last known address, then you waive any right to contest the suspension. If we are hired immediately, we can make the request on time for you and prepare your defense to the petition. Typically, a hearing will occur within 3-6 months after the request date. When a hearing is requested timely, the suspension is tolled (put on hold) until after the administrative drivers license suspension hearing.
If nothing works to prevent a suspension of your CDL, you are still eligible to obtain an occupational license for non commercial use. This means you can drive as any other Class C drivers license holder of an occupational license but will not be able to operate a motor vehicle which requires the driver to hold a valid CDL.
This article probably raised more questions than you thought. We can help answer your questions for free. Just call our office to arrange a time.