Suspended CDL in Connecticut

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Commercial (CDL) Driver License Suspension in Connecticut

Operating a commercial motor vehicle in any state puts you under state and federal regulations.

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can disqualify or suspend your commercial driver’s license (CDL) for reasons such as:

  • Major offenses.
  • Serious traffic violations.
  • Railroad-highway grade crossing (RRHGC) offenses while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
  • Violating out-of-service orders (OOSO) while operating a CMV.

You cannot legally operate a CMV with a disqualified or suspended commercial driver’s license.

Read on for specific information about disqualifying offenses, penalties, and reinstatement policies regarding your suspended commercial drivers license.

About Your Suspended CDL in CT

The CT DMV follows federal guidelines set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

NOTE: Commercial drivers are required to notify their employers within 30 days of any traffic conviction.

Major Offenses

State and federal law lists the following as major offenses:

  • Alcohol- and drug-related offenses, such as:
    • Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04%.
    • Refusing a breath or blood test (violating implied consent laws).
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Using the CMV to commit a felony, including the manufacturing and distributing of a controlled substance.
  • Causing a death due to negligent CMV operation.
  • Operating a CMV while you have a disqualified, suspended, or revoked commercial driver’s license.*

Whether in a CMV or non-CMV, major offenses bring the following penalties:

  • 1st violation: CDL disqualification for 1 year.
    • 3 years if transporting hazardous materials.
  • 2nd violation: CDL disqualification for life.
    • Might be eligible for CDL reinstatement after 10 years.

* A court may impose a heavy fine – possibly up to $5,000 – or even jail time if you drive a commercial motor vehicle without a valid or suspended CDL. Courts may also fine or jail an employer who allows an employee with a suspended CT commercial driver’s license to drive a CMV.

Serious Traffic Violations

State and federal law lists the following as serious traffic violations:

  • Excessive speeding or reckless driving.
  • Making improper lane changes.
  • Following vehicles too closely.
  • Violating any motor vehicle traffic control law that results in a fatal accident.
  • Operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL or proper endorsements, or without carrying your commercial CT driver’s license on your person.

You will serve the following penalties consecutively:

  • 1st violation: No disqualification.
  • 2nd violation within 3 years: CDL disqualification for 60 days.
  • 3rd violation within 3 years: CDL disqualification for 120 days.

Serious violations committed while driving in a non-commercial vehicle are not included UNLESS the violation leads to the suspension, revocation, or cancellation of your CT driver’s license or regular (non-CMV) driving privileges.

RRHGC Violations

RRHGC violations—or “Railroad Highway Grade Crossing” violations—involves violations related to how you operate your CMV when crossing a railroad.

RRHGC violations include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Failing to slow down and check that the tracks are clear.
  • Failing to stop when required.
  • Driving across the tracks when there isn’t sufficient space for the CMV.

You face the following CDL disqualification penalties for RRHGC violations:

  • 1st violation: No fewer than 60 days.
  • 2nd violation within 3 years: No fewer than 120 days.
  • 3rd violation and any subsequent violations within 3 years: At least 1 year.

OOSO Violations

OOSO violations—or “Out-of-Service Orders” violations—are divided into Category 1 and Category 2 offenses.

Category 1 includes violations related to hazardous materials and vehicles designed to transport at least 16 passengers. Penalties include:

  • 1st violation: CDL disqualification of between 180 days and 2 years.
  • 2nd violation within 10 years: CDL disqualification of 3-5 years.

Category 2 includes violations by drivers NOT in Category 1. Penalties include:

  • 1st violation: CDL disqualification of between 180 days and 1 year.
  • 2nd violation within 10 years: CDL disqualification of 2-5 years.
  • 3rd violation: CDL disqualification of 3-5 years.

Drivers convicted of OOSO violations also face financial penalties:

  • 1st violation: Minimum $2,500 fine.
  • 2nd violation (or any subsequent convictions): Minimum $5,000 fine.

Check Your Driver License Status

Not sure how much time you have left on your commercial driver license suspension, or whether you even have a suspended CDL? Consider ordering a copy of your driving record.

Your driving record gives you info about your driver license status, including:

  • Whether your license is disqualified, suspended, or revoked.
  • Information about traffic violations, from speeding tickets to serious violations like DUIs.

Understanding your driver license status can help you better navigate the CDL reinstatement process.

DUI CDL Suspensions in Connecticut

State and federal laws take DUI—or “driving under the influence”—offenses very seriously for commercial vehicle drivers.

CDL DUI offenses in Connecticut are considered major offenses and include:

  • Operating a CMV with a BAC of 0.04% or more.
  • Operating a CMV under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • Refusing CT’s implied consent law, i.e. refusing a blood or chemical alcohol test.

If you commit any of the above violations, even in a non-CMV, you are subject to CDL disqualification as follows:

  • 1st violation: CDL disqualification for 1 year.
    • 3 years if transporting hazardous materials.
  • 2nd violation: CDL disqualification for life.
    • Might be eligible for CDL reinstatement after 10 years.

CDL Suspension Hearings and Appeals

Your CDL suspension or disqualification paperwork will inform you of any requirements or options regarding hearings and appeals.

Because losing your CDL affects your livelihood, you might consider hiring an attorney.

Contact a Local Attorney

If your Connecticut CDL has been suspended, don't leave your fate to chance. Get the help you need with an experienced traffic or DUI attorney in your area.

Reinstate Your Connecticut CDL License

Generally, CDL reinstatement in Connecticut requires:

  • Allowing your disqualification period to expire.
  • Meeting all special requirements, such as alcohol or substance abuse counseling.
  • Paying your reinstatement fee.

The CT DMV will provide CDL reinstatement information more specific to your situation within your disqualification paperwork.

For more information, contact your local CT DMV office.

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