Your career is in your hands when you’re holding the steering wheel. Anyone with a commercial driver’s license knows that you’re never truly off the clock. What you do on your own time in your own vehicle will reflect on your career—and potentially damage it.
While any traffic incident can affect your CDL, the most serious offenses are DUI, negligent driving that causes a fatality and leaving the scene of an accident. However, even speeding tickets can cost a lot more than the fines. By state law, two serious traffic violations in a three-year period will lead to license suspension.
The most costly offenses
In Georgia, the “serious traffic violation” classification includes a variety of offenses. Reckless driving is one of the more significant, as it can include speeding by 15 mph over the limit, following too closely or erratic lane changes. Whether you tend to push the speed limit or sometimes lose track of the speedometer (at work or while driving for recreation), a citation is never as simple as just paying the fine. The book is never closed as long as it’s on your record, and if it happens twice within three years, your license is at risk.
Other traffic-related citations can immediately cost your license, such as a DUI—which is just a .04 BAC for anyone with a CDL, operating under the influence of a controlled substance or refusal to submit to a BAC test.
Protecting your rights, protecting your license
You may feel like you’ve been caught red-handed in a traffic incident, but everyone is innocent until proven guilty. A breath test or speedometer reading may be faulty, the officer may not have followed procedure or followed questionable probable cause, or perhaps there was a misunderstanding or unclear signage.
The fact is that a traffic citation can have big costs, now or further down the road. An attorney can defend you against charges, arguing to circumstances and legal procedure to protect your professional reputation, dispute facts and dismiss or change the charges against you. Maybe you knew you were speeding, but your vehicle registered at 10 mph over the limit, while that officer marked 15. With the potentially high consequences for a seemingly minor infraction, an attorney will speak for you in court and seek the best results for your situation.