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If you rely on your commercial driver’s license (CDL) for your livelihood, a traffic violation could mean the loss of your job, your income and your freedom. It is possible to protect your license and your career by taking care today and facing legal challenges when they arise.

Prevent suspensions or revocations before they occur—drive safely.

One of the most important ways to protect your CDL is to avoid these issues in the first place. While the reasons for a suspended driver’s license vary by state, offenses that can result in a suspension of a Kentucky CDL include:

  • Major offenses, including committing a hit-and-run accident or committing a felony with your commercial vehicle
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked CDL or violating an out of service order
  • Serious traffic violations, including driving 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, following too closely behind other vehicles on the road and improper lane changes
  • Failing to slow, stop or obey clearance guidelines when crossing a railroad
  • Drug and alcohol offenses, including driving under the influence or refusing an alcohol breath test

Driving carefully and following regulations is key to protecting your ability to drive a commercial vehicle. Not only will this help protect your license, it will also help protect you from being one of the thousands of truck drivers injured in crashes every year.

Protecting your CDL after a traffic violation.

If you have been charged with a traffic violation, working with an experienced attorney could help you face these charges and possibly get them reduced. This could help protect your freedom now and protect your license in the long run.

It is also important that you inform your employer immediately if your license has been suspended, revoked or cancelled. You must also tell your employer if you have been convicted of any non-parking traffic violation, even if you were not driving a commercial vehicle when the violation occurred.

Most of all, never drive without a valid CDL.

When your career is on the line, it can be tempting to drive even after your license has been suspended. Doing this, however, could cause you to be disqualified from having a commercial driver’s license for the rest of your life. This would have a permanent impact on your career.

Instead of driving without a valid CDL, it is important that you follow court orders—including treatment programs, reapplying for your CDL or simply waiting until the end of a suspension—to get your license reinstated. While this can involve time away from work now, it will preserve your ability to drive commercial vehicles in the long run.