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  • Writer's pictureGregory Sandler


The trucking industry is one of the cornerstones of the American transportation system. With it comes the ability to move goods across town or across the country. There is no question that the trucking industry provides an invaluable service to the American public.

But the size, weight, and special characteristics of these large commercial motor vehicles (“CMV”) renders them particularly dangerous in an accident. The use of drugs and alcohol increase this risk precipitously. The same considerations apply to large vehicles designed to move people, such as passenger buses.

Virginia’s legislature recognizes these great risks and has therefore enacted laws that impose serious consequences on drivers who are convicted of certain drug or and alcohol-related offenses. Those that result in disqualification from holding a commercial driver’s license are categorized as either major or serious.

Major Violations

Virginia law lists six major violations that result in some form of disqualification from holding a CDL if the offenses are committed while driving a CMV:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol content of .04 or greater;

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;

  • Refusing to take a blood or breath test;

  • Failing to stop at the scene of an injury or death-causing accident involving your CMV;

  • Committing a felony using a CMV; and

  • Making a false statement on a CDL application.

There are three levels of disqualification for these major violations. A single violation results in a one-year disqualification; however, a three-year disqualification is imposed if the driver was transporting hazardous materials when the offense was committed. CDL holders receive a lifetime disqualification for second offenses or for using a CMV to manufacture of transport drugs.

Serious Violations

Virginia law lists nine offenses that result in some form of disqualification, regardless of whether they are committed while driving a CMV or a passenger vehicle:

  • Texting while driving;

  • Speeding in excess of 15 miles per hour;

  • Reckless driving;

  • Improper or erratic lane changes;

  • Following too closely;

  • Committing a moving violation that causes a fatal crash;

  • Driving a CMV without a CDL;

  • Driving a CMV without having your CDL in your immediate possession; and

  • Driving a CMV without having the proper CDL class or endorsements for the vehicle, passengers, or cargo.

With serious violations, the period of disqualification depends on the number of offenses you have in a three-year period. Two serious violations in this period result in a 60-day disqualification; three serious violations in that same period result in a 120-day disqualification.

At The Sandler Law Group, we’re familiar with the requirements of getting and keeping a CDL, and we’ll use that information to press your case. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a CMV, Call us toll free at 800-9-THE-LAW or (757) 627-8900 to schedule an initial FREE consultation. You may also contact us online at or email us at

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