You may have heard how seriously law enforcement in Virginia takes reckless driving. You may have even experienced it if you have been ticketed before. There are serious penalties associated with a reckless driving conviction and it is considered a crime in the Commonwealth. This applies to your average, everyday driver. What happens if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL)? You depend on your driver’s license for your livelihood. Taking a bus to work might be a minor inconvenience for other people, but you drive to earn a paycheck. If you have been charged with reckless driving, what are the implications to your CDL?
Commercial Driver’s Licenses
Drivers with CDLs are held to a higher standard. The federal government has set standards regarding how long commercial drivers can drive, the types of physical conditions they must have to qualify for different endorsements, and the types of loads they can carry. For an average driver, the federal government is not involved. Beyond the federal level, Virginia has its own rules for CDL holders. An unsafe CDL driver carries a much higher risk to the public health and welfare than the driver of a passenger vehicle. An 80,000 pound tractor and trailer must be expertly driven so as to ensure the safety of all those around it. While a 4,000 pound car is inherently dangerous, the level of danger is a world apart from a big rig.
Virginia’s Reckless Laws
Virginia has broad laws when it comes to reckless driving. You can be charged for reckless driving for a number of violations, such as:
Driving too fast for conditions
Exceeding the speed limit by more than 15 miles an hour above the posted limit
Following too closely
Failing to yield the right of way when entering a highway
CDLs and Reckless
First and foremost, a reckless driving conviction while driving a commercial vehicle will cause you to lose your intrastate CDL. If you get convicted of reckless driving while driving any vehicle and are subsequently convicted of another serious traffic violation within three years, you will lose your CDL. Two serious violations within two years will result in a 60-day disqualification, and three or more serious violations will result in a 120-day disqualification. If your reckless charge involves either a blood alcohol content over .04% (higher standard, remember?) or the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will lose your license for a year. A second conviction of this type will get you a lifetime ban from having a CDL.
Virginia does not mess around when it comes to serious traffic violations and CDL holders. If you are a professional driver, the Commonwealth expects you to behave professionally. However, people make mistakes. If you find yourself a licensed CDL driver facing a reckless driving or other serious traffic charges, you owe it to yourself and your livelihood to obtain quality representation. Jad Sarsour has been defending CDL drivers in Northern Virginia for over 10 years. Give him a call today at (571) 261-7314 to schedule an initial consultation to find out what he can do to protect your livelihood.