When a police officer pulls someone over, they may issue a ticket or citation for a traffic infraction to the driver, which is essentially an allegation that the driver broke traffic laws. Most drivers ticketed for a driving offense will pay the fine and then promptly forget about the whole encounter. They may pay more in insurance for a few years, but the matter is largely one of financial inconvenience.
If you are a professional driver with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you do not have the luxury of just paying and forgetting about a traffic ticket. Minor citations could affect your eligibility for your CDL and drastically increase what you pay for insurance.
For commercial drivers, fighting back against a ticket is an important means of protecting their livelihood.
It doesn’t matter if you were on the job or not
Obviously, a traffic ticket that you received while driving a commercial vehicle can have an impact on your professional insurance and CDL. What you may have forgotten since you first got your license is that traffic violations in your personal vehicle can also affect your commercial license.
Simple speeding tickets can add up to make you ineligible for a CDL. Even a single drunk driving offense in your own vehicle could force you to take a year off because you won’t be eligible to regain your CDL for 12 months.
Smaller tickets may not result in immediate ineligibility for commercial licensing, but they can still add up and leave you unable to drive professionally until some of those tickets come off of your record.
How do you fight a ticket?
Defending against a traffic ticket can require careful preparation. Looking into the calibration history for devices used to detect alcohol or a vehicle’s speed might help. So could challenging the officer’s interpretation of events when the offense is subjective, as with charges of reckless driving.