CDL Traffic Offenses and Penalties in Rhode Island
Posted in General on June 19, 2021
What is a CDL?
A commercial driver’s license (“CDL”) is required to operate any commercial motor vehicle (“CMV”) in the State of Rhode Island.
A CMV is any motor vehicle that:
- Weighs more than 26,001 pounds;
- Designed to carry hazardous materials; or
- Designed to carry sixteen or more passengers
Rhode Island CDL Requirements:
- Must possess valid driver’s license for a minimum of 2 years;
- Must be at least 21 years old;
- Must provide a valid social security card and current medical card;
- Must pass CDL History Check; and
- Must pass both components of CDL Test (i.e. knowledge test and road test).
Can I lose my CDL if I get ticketed while operating a CMV?
Yes. A CDL holder may have his/her CDL license revoked or terminated while operating a CMV under the following circumstances:
Multiple “Serious Moving Violations”
- What is considered a serious moving violation (“SMV”)?
- Excessive speeding (> 15MPH over posted speed limit)
- Reckless driving
- Improper or erratic lane changes
- Following a vehicle too closely
- Traffic offenses committed in a CMV in connection with fatal traffic accidents
- Driving a CMV without CDL or proof of CDL
- Driving CMV without proper class of CDL and/or endorsements
- 2 SMV involving CMV within three-year period -> 60-day loss of CDL
- 3 SMV within three-year period -> 120-day loss of CDL
Railroad Crossing Violations
- 1st violation within 3-year period -> 60-day loss of CDL
- 2nd violation within 3-year period -> 120-day loss of CDL
- 3rd violation within 3-year period -> 1-year loss of CDL
Alcohol, Leaving Scene of Accident, and/or Commission of Felony
- 1-year loss of CDL for:
- Operating CMV with alcohol in one’s system
- Refusing to undergo BAC testing
- Operating CMV while under the influence of a controlled substance
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Committing a felony involving the use of a CMV
- Driving a CMV while CDL is suspended
- Killing someone by way of negligent operation of CMV
3-year loss of CDL for:
- Offenses listed above if offense occurs while transporting hazardous materials
Loss of CDL for life:
- 2nd offense re: offenses listed above
- Committing a felony involving controlled substances while operating CMV
Driving While OSO in Effect
- What is an out-of-service order (“OS0”)?
- An out-of-service order is a temporary order that prohibits a CDL holder from operating a CMV (for example, operating a CMV with any amount of alcohol in CDL holder’s system automatically results in a 24-hour OSO).
- 1st offense in 10-year period -> 90-day loss of CDL (180-day loss of CDL if transporting hazardous materials or 16+ passengers)
- 2nd offense in 10-year period -> 1-year loss of CDL (3-year loss of CDL if transporting hazardous materials or 16+ passengers)
- 3rd offense in 10-year period -> 3-year loss of CDL
Can I lose my CDL if I get ticket while operating a personal vehicle?
It depends. A CDL holder may have his/her CDL license revoked or terminated while operating a personal vehicle under limited circumstances:
- -If a CDL holder’s privilege to operate a personal vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to traffic violations (excluding parking tickets), s/he will also lose CDL/CMV driving privileges during that time.
- -If a CDL holder’s privilege to operate a personal vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to traffic violations involving alcohol, controlled substances, or felony violations, s/he will lose CDL/CMV driving privileges accordingly
- 1st offense -> 1-year loss of CDL
- 2nd offense -> loss of CDL for life
Further, it is important to note a CDL holder cannot obtain a “hardship license” to operate a CMV when his/her license to operate a personal vehicle is revoked.
Revocation or termination of your CDL can interfere with your employment and livelihood. Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Stefanie A. Murphy, LLC can help. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your FREE initial consultation!