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Commercial Drivers License

Pitfalls associated with a ticket when you have a commercial driver’s license

If you drive a semi, school bus or other extra-large vehicle for your job, then you are required to have a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, in Louisiana.

Possessing a CDL in Louisiana means you have more responsibility on the road — and you also get in more trouble for moving violations. Not only is your pocketbook on the line, your livelihood is, too.


What happens to CDL license holders if they get a moving violation?

For commercial drivers, a serious moving violation — speeding 15 mph or more over the speed limit, illegally changing lanes, reckless driving, following too closely etc. — can result in harsh penalties. Here are the infractions that Louisiana considers to be serious commercial driving violations, according to the state Office of Motor Vehicles:

  • Speeding 15 or above
  • Following too closely
  • Reckless Operations
  • Improper / erratic lane change
  • Fatal accident violation
  • Driving a CMV without proper Class / Endorsements
  • Driving a vehicle without first obtaining a CDL
  • Driving a CMV without a CDL or CLP in the driver’s possession
  • Texting while driving a CMV


Railroad – Highway Grade Crossing Violations:

  • Railroad crossing restriction
  • Railroad traffic control device or enforcement official
  • Failure to slow down when not required to always stop
  • Failure to stop when tracks are not clear
  • Stopping before clearing railroad grade crossing
  • Insufficient undercarriage clearance
  • Failure to stop

Penalties for the above violations include:

  • Disqualification — A disqualification will only disqualify the CMV driving privileges. A disqualification means you cannot operate a CMV during the disqualification period.
  • Suspension — A suspension suspends all driving privileges regardless of the type of vehicle being operated. This means you cannot operate any vehicle (personal or CMV) during the suspension period.


If you are found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, those penalties can be much more serious, and you will face losing your commercial driver’s license for a year, in addition to court fines and possible jail time.


Can you get in trouble if you get a ticket out-of-state?

Even if you get a ticket outside of Louisiana, it can impact your commercial driver’s license here at home. The state’s Office of Motor Vehicles can — and often will – consider moving violations that you have received in other states. For example, if you get a speeding ticket in Louisiana and you already have a ticket on your record in Texas, Louisiana could consider the speeding ticket your second offense and suspend your CDL accordingly.


What are some violations that only apply to commercial driver’s licenses?

There are some rules of the road that are only for commercial drivers. These include:

  • Weight restrictions
  • Grade restrictions
  • Log violations


If you are a commercial driver and end up with a serious moving violation or an even more serious DWI charge, you need the help of an experienced CDL attorney who can challenge the penalties and fight on your behalf.

Contact Crescent City Law Firm today for a free consultation.

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