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Why traffic violations matter more for commercial drivers

Illinois drivers are not all treated equally when it comes to being stopped for traffic violation citations, especially commercial drivers who are hauling freight through the state. Local law enforcement officials and Illinois DOT officers are often quick to stop truckers and write tickets for whatever reason they can find. Traffic violation citations for truck drivers and their employers can present problems both in expense and downtime for drivers. Not only are truckers often given more expensive fines and required to make a court appearance, but the demerit points assigned following a court order can result in other problems as well.

Standard traffic violations

Commercial truck drivers can be impacted much more severely than standard drivers in Illinois when cited for even basic traffic violations such as speeding tickets. Standard driver traffic violations can be removed from the record with a traffic school completion but not commercial drivers. Additionally, commercial drivers can have problems securing employment in the future in some situations.

Serious violations

The situation can be even worse when the citation is for something serious like a DUI. Not only is the criminal intoxication level set lower at 0.04 BAC, but getting a CDL authorization back can be more difficult. Even a conviction for a first DUI violation results in a one-year CDL driver’s license suspension that also applies for driving in non-employment scenarios. The record will remain visible to the public, meaning potential employers and landlords can see it as a public document, and it can take up to 10 years to have the record removed for commercial drivers. There is sometimes an opportunity to request a hearing to rescind the conviction, but this still takes a 30-day waiting period after a deal is negotiated.

Of course, any conviction on a traffic violation or criminal case will result in increased insurance rates for the convicted driver as well as responsibility for paying fines and attending driving school. It’s important to defend the case because of the comprehensive damage it can do beyond the assignment of driving demerit points against a license in Illinois.