Getting A Speeding Ticket When You Have a Commercial Drivers License
In Oklahoma, a traffic infraction will put points both on your personal drivers license and your commercial drivers license (CDL). This point system can be very problematic for commercial drivers. Most people with a CDL are driving far more often than the average person because their job is driving. You need that license to put food on the table for your family. However, if you aren’t able to successfully navigate the Oklahoma point system, you could lose your license and your income.
How many points leads to a suspension?
If you receive 10 points on your license, it will be suspended. The length of that suspension will depend on your criminal history, and whether your license has been suspended before.
- First Point Suspension = 1 month
- Second Point Suspension = 3 months
- Third Point Suspension = 6 months
- Fourth and subsequent point suspension = 12 months
Your points do “expire” after a certain amount of time. For example, if you do not receive any traffic offenses for one year after your license was suspended, 2 points will be removed from your driving record. If you go 3 years without any traffic offenses, your record will be lowered to 0 points, and you will be able to start over.
How many points is an ordinary traffic violation?
The number of points added to your CDL will depend on the type of traffic violation you committed.
- Reckless driving: 4 points
- Failure to stop for a school bus: 4 points
- Speeding 1-10mph over the limit: 0 points
- Speeding 11-25mph over the limit: 2 points
- Speeding 26-40mph over the limit: 3 points
- Speeding 40+mph over the limit: 4 points
- Violation of license restriction: 2 points
- Careless driving: 2 points
- Following another vehicle too closely: 2 points
- Failure to obey a stop sign or traffic light: 2 points
- Failure to yield: 2 points
- Failure to signal: 1 point
- Wrong way on a one-way street: 2 points
- Operating a defective vehicle: 1 point
- At-fault accident: 3 points
- Improper passing: 3 points
- Racing: 2 points
- Railroad crossing violation: 2 points
This is the current DPS point scheme at the time of writing, but the amount of points given for violations can and do change over time.
Additionally, these points apply to any individual, not just those with a commercial drivers license. While there technically isn’t a difference in points given to CDL drivers, federal law does include caveats that can lead to a suspension of your license, even if you haven’t accumulated the entire 10 points.
How does Federal Law affect my suspension?
Federal law requires all CDL holders to refrain from committing “serious violations.” Committing these types of violations will lead to a loss of CDL license privileges or suspension:
- Speeding more than 15mph over the limit;
- Following another vehicle too closely;
- Erratic or unsafe lane change;
- Reckless driving;
- Traffic offense resulting in a fatal collision;
- Failure to have your CDL in possession;
- Failure to obtain a valid CDL;
- Failure to have the proper class CDL for CMV or the proper endorsement.
Keep in mind that you will not necessarily receive an automatic suspension for committing one of those offenses. The severity of the punishment, and length of suspension, depends on how many serious violations you have committed within a 3-year period.
Your first serious violation will only result in a fine. However, your second serious violation within a 3-year period will result in a 60-day suspension. The third suspension in a 3-year period will result in a 90-day license suspension.
One-year suspensions for CDL holder
While most traffic infractions must be committed multiple times before your license is suspended, some violations lead to a year-long suspension immediately:
- Using a commercial motor vehicle for the commission of a felony;
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a valid CDL;
- Knowingly leaving the scene of an accident while driving a commercial motor vehicle;
- Homicide due to negligent driving.
If you are found guilty of committing two of these violations, your license will be suspended for 3 years.
What if I have a CDL and received a speeding ticket?
Under Oklahoma law, you must notify your employer if you receive a traffic citation within 30 days of receiving the citation. This is true whether you receive the traffic citation in or out of the state of Oklahoma. Additionally, if you receive the ticket out of state, Oklahoma law requires that you notify the Oklahoma Department of Motor Vehicles, in addition to your employer.
How do I get my license back after a suspension?
Once your CDL has been suspended, the only way to get your license back is to complete the suspension time and pay the reinstatement fee. The reinstatement fee can typically be paid online or in person by either yourself or a representative. In some instances, which are far more likely if you have a CDL, you will be required to meet with a driving compliance hearing officer in order to pay your reinstatement fee and get your license back.
When are the points applied to my record?
The points are not automatically applied to your record after you get a ticket. The points are applied upon a plea of guilty, or paying for the traffic violation with the applicable court. If you received a speeding ticket, the best thing you can do to avoid a license suspension is to hire an attorney with experience handling CDL cases.
It is important that you do this before you plead guilty and pay your traffic fine. An experienced attorney may be able to reduce your ticket or find a way to challenge the citation altogether. Even if your attorney believes it is in your best interest to plead guilty to a traffic citation, they will be able to assist you in navigating the DPS system and getting your license back as quickly as possible.
The Bottom Line
A license suspension is difficult for anyone, but if you have a CDL, it could mean losing your ability to put food on the table. Don’t risk losing your license and your livelihood. If you have been given a traffic citation, call an attorney with experience handling both criminal cases and navigating the DPS system. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation on your case.