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CDL Disqualifications

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1.3.1 – General

You may not drive a commercial motor vehicle if you are disqualified for any reason.

1.3.2 – Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, and Commission of a Felony

It is illegal to operate a CMV if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .04% or more. If you operate a CMV, you shall be deemed to have given your consent to alcohol testing.

You will lose your CDL for at least one year for a first offense for:

  • Driving a CMV if your blood alcohol concentration is .04% or higher.
  • Driving a CMV under the influence of alcohol.
  • Refusing to undergo blood alcohol testing.
  • Driving a CMV while under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving a CMV.
  • Committing a felony involving the use of a CMV.
  • Driving a CMV when the CDL is suspended.
  • Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a CMV.

You will lose your CDL for at least three years if the offense occurs while you are operating a CMV that is placarded for hazardous materials.

You will lose your CDL for life for a second offense.

You will lose your CDL for life if you use a CMV to commit a felony involving controlled substances.

You will be put out-of-service for 24 hours if you have any detectable amount of alcohol under .04%.

1.3.3 – Serious Traffic Violations

Serious traffic violation means conviction of any of the following offenses or a conviction of any law or ordinance equivalent thereto in this state, in any other state, or in any foreign jurisdiction, when operating either a commercial motor vehicle or unless otherwise specified, a non-commercial vehicle:

Serious traffic violations are excessive speeding (15 mph or more above the posted limit), reckless driving, improper or erratic lane changes, following a vehicle too closely, traffic offenses committed in a CMV in connection with fatal traffic accidents, driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL or having a CDL in the driver’s possession, and driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsements.

You will lose your CDL:

  • For at least 60 days if you have committed two serious traffic violations within a three-year period.
  • For at least 120 days if convicted of a third or subsequent serious traffic violation.

1.3.4 – Violation of Out-of-Service Orders

You will lose your CDL:

  • For at least 180 days if you have committed your first violation of an out-of-service order.
  • For at least two years if you have committed two violations of out-of-service orders in separate incidences.
  • For at least three years if you have committed three or more violations of an out-of-service order.

1.3.5 – Railroad-highway Grade Crossing Violations

You will lose your CDL:

  • For at least 60 days for your first violation.
  • For at least 120 days for your second violation within a three-year period.
  • For at least one year for your third violation within a three-year period.

These violations include violation of a federal, state or local law or regulation pertaining to one of the following six offenses at a railroad-highway grade crossing:

  • For drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to stop before reaching the crossing if the tracks are not clear.
  • For drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to slow down and check that the tracks are clear of an approaching train.
  • For drivers who are always required to stop, failing to stop before driving onto the crossing.
  • For all drivers failing to have sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping.
  • For all drivers failing to obey a traffic control device or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing.
  • For all drivers failing to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance.

1.3.6 – Hazardous Materials Endorsement Background Check and Disqualifications

If you require a hazardous materials endorsement you will be required to submit your fingerprints and be subject to a background check.

You will be denied or you will lose your hazardous materials endorsement if you:

  • Are not a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  • Renounce your United States citizenship.
  • Are wanted or under indictment for certain felonies.
  • Have a conviction in military or civilian court for certain felonies.
  • Have been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution.
  • Are considered to pose a security threat as determined by the Transportation Security Administration.

The background check procedures vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Your licensing agency will provide you with all the information you need to complete the required TSA background check procedures. (The TSA website can provide additional information – https://universalenroll.dhs.gov.)

1.3.7 – Traffic Violations in Your Personal Vehicle

The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA) of 1999 requires a CDL holder to be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle if the CDL holder has been convicted of certain types of moving violations in their personal vehicle.

If your privilege to operate your personal vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to violations of traffic control laws (other than parking violations) you will also lose your CDL driving privileges.

If your privilege to operate your personal vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to alcohol, controlled substance or felony violations, you will lose your CDL for 1 year. If you are convicted of a second violation in your personal vehicle or CMV you will lose your CDL for life.

If your license to operate your personal vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended you may not obtain a “hardship” license to operate a CMV.

1.3.8 – Major Traffic Violations

You will be disqualified from driving a CMV for not less than one year if convicted of any of the following offenses when operating either a commercial motor vehicle or, unless otherwise specified, a noncommercial motor vehicle:

  • Driving a vehicle under the influence in violation of Code Section 40-6-391.
  • Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident; failing to report striking an unattended vehicle, failure to report striking a fixed object, or failure to report an accident.
  • Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used.
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle while the person’s commercial driver’s license or commercial driving privilege is revoked, suspended, canceled, or disqualified.
  • Homicide by vehicle.
  • Racing on highways or streets.
  • Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.
  • Fraudulent or fictitious use of or application for a license.
  • Operating a motor vehicle with a revoked, canceled, or suspended registration.
  • Theft of a vehicle engaged in commercial transportation of cargo or any appurtenance thereto or the cargo being transported therein or thereon.
  • Refusing to submit to a state administered chemical test requested by a law enforcement officer.

If one of the offenses above occurs while you are operating a CMV that is placarded for hazardous materials, you will be disqualified from driving a CMV for at least three years.

You will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for life if convicted of a second or subsequent major traffic violation or any combination of such violations from the list above.

1.3.9 Georgia Traffic Laws

  • When the department determines a road shall have limited access due to a declared state of emergency for inclement winter weather conditions, notice shall be given to motorists through posted signage that motor vehicles must be equipped with tire chains, four-wheel drive with adequate tires for existing conditions, or snow tires with a manufacturer’s all weather rating in order to proceed.

    Commercial motor vehicles shall affix tire chains to each of the outermost drive wheel tires. Bus and motor coach operators shall affix tire chains to at least two of the drive wheel tires before proceeding on a road with limited access due to a declared state of emergency for inclement winter weather conditions.

    A driver of a motor vehicle who causes an accident or blocks the flow of traffic while failing to comply with the requirements of this code section shall be fined up to $1,000.00.

  • Commercial Motor Vehicles and any other motor vehicle with more than six wheels is prohibited from traveling along GA 400 and interstate routes inside I-285 unless the driver of such motor vehicle is:
    • Engaging in a pick up or delivery to or from a shipper located inside the arc of Interstate 285
    • Traveling to or from such motor vehicle’s terminal facility located inside the arc of Interstate 285
    • Traveling to or from a repair facility located inside the arc of Interstate 285 for service; or
    • Traveling to or from his or her residence which is located inside the arc of Interstate 285.
  • Cargo theft – GA Code 16-8-22 (a) For purposes of this Code section, the term “vehicle” includes, without limitation, any railcar.(b) Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, a person commits the offense of cargo theft when he or she unlawfully takes or, being in lawful possession thereof, unlawfully appropriates:(1) Any vehicle engaged in commercial transportation of cargo or any appurtenance thereto, including, without limitation, any trailer, semitrailer, container, or other associated equipment, or the cargo being transported therein or thereon, which is the property of another with the intention of depriving such other person of the property, regardless of the manner in which the property is taken or appropriated; or(2) Any trailer, semitrailer, container, or other associated equipment, or the cargo being transported therein or thereon, which is deployed by or used by a law enforcement agency, which is the property of another with the intention of depriving such other person of the property, regardless of the manner in which the property is taken or appropriated.(c) The value of a vehicle engaged in commercial transportation of cargo and any appurtenance thereto and the cargo being transported which is taken or unlawfully appropriated shall be based on the fair market value of such vehicle, appurtenances, and cargo taken or unlawfully appropriated.(d) (1) If the property taken is one or more controlled substances as defined in Code Section 16-13-21 with a collective value of less than $10,000.00, a person convicted of a violation of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, a fine of not less than $10,000.00 nor more than $100,000.00, or both.(2) If the property taken is one or more controlled substances as defined in Code Section 16-13-21 with a collective value of at least $10,000.00 but less than $1 million, a person convicted of a violation of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 25 years, a fine of not less than $50,000.00 nor more than $1 million, or both.(3) If the property taken is one or more controlled substances as defined in Code Section 16-13-21 with a collective value of $1 million or more, a person convicted of a violation of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 30 years, a fine of not less than $100,000.00 nor more than $1 million, or both.(e) (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, if the property taken has a collective value of $1,500.00 or less, a person convicted of a violation of this Code section shall be punished as for a misdemeanor.(2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, if the property taken has a collective value of more than $1,500.00 but less than $10,000.00, a person convicted of a violation of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, a fine of not less than $10,000.00 nor more than $100,000.00, or both.(3) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, if the property taken has a collective value of at least $10,000.00 but less than $1 million, a person convicted of a violation of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years, a fine of not less than $50,000.00 nor more than $1 million, or both.(4) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, if the property taken has a collective value of $1 million or more, a person convicted of a violation of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years, a fine of not less than $100,000.00 nor more than $1 million, or both.(f) Notwithstanding subsections (d) and (e) of this Code section, if the property taken is a trailer, semitrailer, container, or other associated equipment, or the cargo being transported therein or thereon, which is deployed by or used by a law enforcement agency, regardless of its value, a person convicted of a violation of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, a fine of not less than $10,000.00 nor more than $100,000.00, or both.(g) A person convicted of a violation of this Code section may also be punished by, if applicable, the revocation of the defendant’s commercial driver’s license in accordance with Code Section 40-5-151.

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