Commercial Drivers Licenses and Traffic Tickets
In January of this year, a 21-year-old man from South Carolina was involved in a wreck in North Carolina. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the man was not licensed to operate the flatbed truck he was operating at the time of the accident. At a highway juncture, the driver swerved, causing the load to shift and flipping the truck several times. In addition to injuries, the young man may sustain significant penalties and fines for driving without a license.
There are state and federal guidelines that specify that commercial truck operators must be licensed or otherwise face a penalty. Additionally, drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, risk losing their privileges if they receive a traffic violation.
Getting a License
According to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, there are several classes of licenses drivers must hold based on the loads they haul. Those classes are the following:
- Class A: Necessary for a driver who operates any vehicle or vehicles that have a gross combination weight rating, or GCWR, of 26,001 pounds or more when the vehicle that is towed weighs more than 10,000 pounds.
- Class B: Necessary for any driver who operates a single vehicle with a GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more and a combination towing vehicle of less than 10,000 pounds.
- Class C: Used for drivers who operate vehicles that do not fall under Class A or Class B and are designed to either transport hazardous material or 16 or more passengers.
All of these options enable a driver to operate a three-wheel vehicle, excepting a motorcycle with a side car.
The SCDMV does place a number of restrictions on commercial licenses, such as allowing the driver to only operate intrastate or preventing a driver from operating a vehicle that has air brakes. There are tests that a driver can take that, upon passing, will remove these restrictions.
There are certain violations that may result in losing a CDL. For example, a conviction of drunk driving or fleeing the scene of the accident is considered a major violation that will nearly always result in losing a license, at least temporarily. So will driving with a suspended license, refusing an alcohol test or causing a fatality while negligently driving.
Even offenses such as improper lane changes or other careless driving may call a trucker’s license into question. In addition to a suspended or revoked license, it is possible for a truck operator to lose his or her job following a traffic ticket.
People who hold CDLs are required by law to let their employer know if they are convicted of certain traffic violations. At Nosal & Jeter, LLP we understand that your license is your livelihood. Allow our local South Carolina traffic ticket attorneys to help you preserve your driving record and your employment.