Anyone who depends on a commercial drivers license to earn a living should be concerned about any traffic citation they may receive, whether it is behind the steering wheel of a big-rig or a passenger vehicle. Of course, the primary fear for most with a CDL is being cited for driving under the influence, which is considered a traffic offense in New Jersey. However, all convictions for driving violations can generate demerit points against a CDL that could eventually result in a suspension when enough points are accumulated. And the potential suspension is not the only issue CDL holders may face.
The first consequence that will result from traffic violations convictions is a fine. This is the typical punishment along with a demerit point assessment. Fines are usually based on the actual severity of the charge, but they can be substantial when there any criminal citations issued as well such as leaving the scene of an accident.
Increased insurance premiums
The next problem stemming from a traffic offense conviction is an increase in insurance premiums. While this cost could be imposed on an employer, owner-operators will be required to pay the increased premiums personally in most situations.
Future employment denials
A third issue that some CDL holders may face when having a negative motor vehicle record (MVR) is future denial of employment when job responsibilities include commercial driving. This can even impact a sales position where drivers are not long haul operators. MVR violations in New Jersey stay on the driver’s record for a period of five years, so serious traffic violations could spell difficulty for an extended period.
It is important for all CDL holders to understand that protecting their license is essential. Professional drivers should always assess the potential for a dismissed or deferred judgement in any traffic violation situation before going to court.