Commercial motor vehicles move America. These heavy vehicles transport everything from gravel to machinery to mobile homes. They allow us to purchase items in one location and have them moved to another, effectively and affordably.
With the significant benefits of these vehicles comes a similarly significant responsibility for safety. Both federal and state law mandate that strict requirements be met, starting with licensure for drivers.
Drivers of commercial motor vehicles (“CMV”) must hold a valid commercial driver’s license (“CDL”). Virginia law provides several mandatory requirements, all of which must be met before a CDL may be issued:
Identification and residency;
Driver education; and
Selective service registration.
The responsibility of CDL holders does not end, however, after their licenses are issued. CDL holders must continue to maintain solid, safe driving records throughout their period of licensure.
Some of the most serious offenses that a CDL holder may commit relate to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A CDL holder using drugs or alcohol while operating a CMV shows serious disregard for other drivers. This is particularly so if their cargo contains hazardous materials. I will discuss the interplay between CDLs and DUI in more detail in an upcoming blog.
To protect the travelling public and provide proper incentives for correct behavior, a CDL holder convicted of certain drug or alcohol-related offenses may suffer several consequences:
Disqualification from holding a CDL for a specified time, sometimes permanently;
Demerit points on their DMV records; and
Points against their insurance coverage with their insurance carriers, which may negatively affect their insurance rates.
Of course, the shame and blame that come with DUI convictions are significant consequences, as well.
At The Sandler Law Group, we are skilled at investigating and presenting evidence about wrongdoing of commercial drivers and their employers. If you have been injured in an accident involving a CMV, Call toll free 800-9-THE-LAW or (757) 627-8900 to schedule an initial FREE consultation. You may also contact us online at www.sandlerlaw.net or by email at GSandler@Sandlerlaw.net.