Disqualifications for a Commercial Drivers’ License

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As a result of the ongoing truck driver shortage that began way back in 2005, demand for commercial operators is higher than ever. But not just anyone can climb into the cab of a big rig. Despite the personnel shortage, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association has some stringent rules regarding CDL disqualification or suspension.

If an underqualified driver causes a crash, a St. Louis truck accident lawyer can usually obtain substantial compensation for crash victims to cover the cost of medical bills, loss of income, and other losses.

Commercial Driver License Suspension Reasons

A significant commercial vehicle violation usually triggers immediate CDL suspension of up to one year. The actual suspension length usually varies based on the facts of the incident. Some major violations include:

  • DUI,
  • Chemical test refusal,
  • Failure to stop and render aid in a commercial vehicle crash,
  • Using any vehicle during the commission of any felony, and
  • Distributing drugs in a car.

Moreover, these significant commercial vehicle violations often prevent people from obtaining commercial licenses, especially if the violation was recent.

Driving Under Suspension

Operators who drive on a suspended CDL or negligently cause a fatal accident are also subject to a possible one-year suspension if the violation happened in a commercial vehicle.

Serious CDL Violations

These violations are a bit like points on a noncommercial drivers’ license. In general, two violations in three years merits a 60-day suspension. Three violations in any three years is a 120-day suspension. These serious violations include:

  • Driving at excessive speed (15mph over the posted limit),
  • Reckless operation, which usually involves committing two traffic offenses at the same time or in close succession,
  • Changing lanes unsafely,
  • Failing to maintain proper following distance,
  • Contributing to a fatal traffic accident, and
  • Driving a commercial vehicle with no CDL, a suspended CDL, or an improper CDL (g., no HAZMAT certification).

Serious violations also affect commercial insurance rates. These rate increases could be worse than a temporary suspension. Rate increases could make it impossible to make money as a truck driver. Furthermore, the higher rates usually last at least three years.

It’s hard to earn a CDL and also hear to keep it. For a free consultation with an experienced St. Louis, personal injury lawyer, contact Schultz & Myers, Personal Injury Lawyers. We routinely handle truck accident claim matters in Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas.


What does it mean to “negligently” cause a truck accident crash?

Negligence is usually a lack of care. Commercial operators in many states have a very high duty of care.

Why is there a truck driver shortage?

Lack of long-term employment prospects is a big reason for the truck driver shortage.

What are some injuries in truck crash claims?

Truck accident victims are typically pinned underneath trucks or caught in fireballs. Therefore, head injuries and severe burns are prevalent in truck crash claims.

Truck Accident Lawyers

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