When you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you know that there is more official scrutiny on your actions than the average driver. After all, the delivery truck or semi that you’re driving is much bigger and heavier than the other vehicles on the road, so that makes it especially important for you to be a safe driver.
That’s why every traffic mistake is also a potential career-ender – even if you get a simple speeding ticket or another moving violation in your own car, on your own time.
How does the point system in Arkansas work?
Essentially, “points” are black marks or demerits against your license that indicate you’ve been ticketed for one or more traffic offenses. If you accrue too many within a certain period of time, that indicates to the authorities that you are an unsafe driver.
Typically, if you get a traffic ticket in your personal vehicle, an act that could cause your CDL privileges to be suspended or revoked won’t have such a severe effect – but it will add points to your license. For example:
- If you hit someone’s mailbox or knock the side mirror off a parked car you were passing and keep driving, that’s a hit-and-run accident with property damage, and it’ll earn you eight points.
- Failing to turn on your headlights when it’s required (even if you simply forgot) can add three points to your license.
- Speeding up to 10 miles over the posted limit will put three points on your license, while speeding 15 miles over the limit will net you five points.
It is possible for a single incident in your own car to lead to a license suspension or revocation, which will affect your CDL, as well. For example, refusing to submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test when asked is considered a major offense, so the point system isn’t relevant.
In any situation, once you’ve accrued 14 points (or more), your personal license and your CDL are both in danger.
The reality is that losing your driver’s license means you also lose your CDL, even if the offense that caused your license to be suspended or revoked happened on your own time or was the cumulative result of points accrued against your license both before and after you obtained your CDL. To protect your livelihood, make sure you fight back against any traffic ticket.