CDL Violations

Waukegan Commercial Drivers License CDL ViolationsCOMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE

If you possess an Illinois Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) you are governed by much stricter rules than non-CDL holders and these rules can apply whether you are driving your personal vehicle or a commercial vehicle for employment.  Many types of common traffic violations discussed below can result in a permanent “conviction” and be considered a “serious” offense by the Illinois Secretary of State. 

If you are found guilty of multiple serious traffic violations within a certain time period, you can be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and are described below.

Seasoned Waukegan Traffic Lawyers – CDL Violations

The Law Offices of Winer & Winer has over 25 years of experience handling CDL cases in Lake County and Northern Cook County.  As a result, we know how important it is to keep your driving record clean and strive to avoid the potential dangers that can result in traffic violations being on your driving record or a disqualification of your CDL. 

We have successfully represented truckers from all across America who received a traffic citations in Illinois.  We have had great success in having “serious” traffic violations amended to non-serious violations or having them dismissed.  If you are considering obtaining legal representation for a traffic ticket while holding a CDL, the Law Offices of Winer & Winer is the right choice.  Our attorneys have experience handling:

  • Serious” CDL Traffic violations
  • Accidents
  • Lane violations
  • Following too closely
  • Out of service violations
  • Overweight violations
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Other alcohol violations
  • CDL class and endorsement violations
  • Driving CMV without valid CDL
  • Railroad crossing violations
  • Falsifying information or having the wrong CDL license
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Driving While License Suspended or Driving While License Revoked 
  • Serious traffic violations can include driving more than 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, or improper lane change, following too closely, driving with no CDL in possession
  • Railroad crossings
  • All CDL moving violations

Motorists with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) must be especially cautious when handling any citation and can make a potentially harmful mistake if they mail in payment for the ticket.  A driver that receives a ticket with their CDL and who does not have time to keep current with the law and handles the charge on their own risks spending a time in court, but also puts their CDL, insurance and livelihood in jeopardy.

The penalties for certain traffic citations issued against a CDL, when operating a commercial motor vehicle, defined as any vehicle used in commerce with a gross weight rating in excess of 26,001 pounds, or, in some instances, when operating a non-CMV while holding a CDL, are particularly strict.  The penalties are established by Federal Regulations, Illinois Statutes and the Illinois Administrative Code.

Motorists holding a CDL must be aware that the Illinois Secretary of State considers a sentence of Court Supervision as a conviction with respect to certain traffic citations issued against a CDL. We understand which traffic offenses may adversely affect your CDL.  We will appear for you in Court and discuss your case with the prosecutor or Judge and do everything to protect your rights and CDL. 

With CDL’s, the law in Illinois defines a “conviction” as: “An unvacated adjudication of guilt or a determination that a person has violated or failed to comply with the law in a court of original jurisdiction or an authorized administrative tribunal; an unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure the person’s appearance in court; the payment of a fine or court cost regardless of whether the imposition of sentence is deferred and ultimately a judgment dismissing the underlying charge is entered; or a violation of a condition of release without bail, regardless of whether or not the penalty is rebated, suspended or probated.” (625 ILCS 5/6-500). Therefore, with a CDL Court Supervision is considered a conviction. 

Federal Regulations define a “conviction” as:  “An unvacated adjudication of guilt; finding by a court or an authorized administrative body of a violation; forfeiture of bail; plea of guilty or nolo contendere; payment of fine or court cost; or violation of a condition of release without bail. (49 CFR 383.5)


Under the Illinois Uniform Commercial Driver’s License Act (625 ILCS 5/6-500 et seq) there are many ways that your ability to drive a CMV can be disqualified. Many of these reasons involve whether or not you have been “convicted” of “serious traffic violations.” The Commercial Driver’s License Act defines the terms “conviction” and “serious traffic violation” more expansively than other areas of the Illinois Vehicle Code. For example, if you are a CDL holder, any traffic ticket you receive, whether you are driving a CMV or a non-CMV, should be taken seriously. In Illinois you can be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for repeated serious traffic violations committed in a CMV. Specifically, the law states that you will be disqualified from driving a CMV:

  • If you are convicted of two serious traffic violations, committed in a commercial motor vehicle, arising from separate incidents, occurring within a Three year period, in which case the disqualification will be for at least two months; or
  • If you are convicted of three serious traffic violations, committed in a commercial motor vehicle, arising from separate incidents, occurring within a three year period, in which case the disqualification will be for at least four months. 
Number of Serious Traffic Violation Convictions Time Period Length of CMV Disqualification
– 2 from separate incidents – within 3 years – minimum 2 months
– 3 from separate incidents – within 3 years – minimum 4 months
Driving Under the Influence with a CDL

There are two issues every CDL driver should know about an arrest of DUI. Firstly, Unlike normal DUI cases, a blood alcohol content of .04 while driving a commercial vehicle can lead to a suspended or revoked license and Secondly, even if a CDL driver is arrested for DUI while a personal vehicle they will lose the CDL.

The Law offices of Winer & Winer can determine if the police had probable cause to stop your vehicle, whether the prosecution can prove that you were impaired and whether the blood-alcohol test was accurate and correctly administered. We attempt to minimize the ramifications and use our many years of experience to fight your charges and minimize the consequences of a conviction or get the charges reduced or dismissed.

Six Ways to be Disqualified from Holding a CDL

1).  Major Disqualifying Offenses

Major disqualifying offenses result in a 1-year loss for driving a regular CMV, and a 3-year loss when driving a HAZMAT vehicle. Second offenses result in a lifetime CDL ban.

a. DUI or refusal to submit to breath-alcohol testing in either a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) or non-commercial motor vehicle (NCMV) 49 CFR 383.51(b)(1)

b. A second DUI in a lifetime. No CDL for life. The offense does not have to be the same disqualifying offense. A DUI in a personal vehicle, prior to September 2005, does not count toward the 2 offenses resulting in a lifetime disqualification. 49 CFR 383.51(b)

c. Driving a CMV with a BAC of .04. 49 CFR 383.51

d. Leaving the scene of an accident in any vehicle. 49 CFR 383.51(b)(5)

e. Any felony involving a motor vehicle. 49 CFR 383.51(b)(6)

f. If the felony involves the manufacture, distribution or dispensing of controlled substances, no CDL for life on the first conviction. (Mobile Meth Labs) 49 CFR 383.51(b)(9)

g. Conviction for negligently causing the death of another person while driving a CMV. 49 CFR 383.51(b)(8)

h. Driving a CMV with a revoked or cancelled CDL, or while otherwise disqualified from driving a CMV. 49 CFR 383.51(b)(7)

2).  Serious Traffic Violations

Serious traffic violations may occur in any vehicle. But if you are driving a non-CMV, this action is taken only if the triggering conviction also results in a restraint of regular driving privileges. (i.e., a points suspension). 49 CFR 383.51(c)

A 2nd conviction for violations occurring within 3 years requires a 60-day disqualification of CDL if and only if the conviction triggers the loss of regular driving privileges.

A 3rd or subsequent conviction for violations occurring within 3 years requires a 120-day disqualification of the CDL if the conviction triggers the loss of regular driving privileges.

Length of disqualification for serious traffic violations in a CMV. No affect on regular driving privilege is required. 49 CFR 383.51(c)

Serious Traffic Violations Under Illinois Law

* Violation of More Than One Driver’s License 625 ILCS 5/6-501

* Driving Without a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Possession 625 ILCS 5/6-507(a)(1)

* Unlawful Operation of CMV 625 ILCS 5/6-507(b)

* Disregarding Lane Control Signal 625 ILCS 5/11-308

* Reckless Driving 625 ILCS 5/11-503

* Too Fast for Conditions or Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid Accident 625 ILCS 5/11-601(a)

* 15-25 MPH Above Posted Speed Limit 625 ILCS 5/11-601(b)(5)

* Over 25 MPH Above Posted Speed Limit 625 ILCS 5/11-601(b)(7)

* Over 29 MPH Above Posted Speed Limit 625 ILCS 5/11-601(b)

* Driving 40 MPH or More in excess of Speed Limit. 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5 

* Exceeding the Speed Limit in a School Zone 625 ILCS 5/11-605

* Exceeding the Speed Limit Through a Construction Zone 625 ILCS 5/11-605(b)

* Failure to Drive on Right Side of Roadway 625 ILCS 5/11-701

* Improper Passing upon an Approaching Vehicle 625 ILCS 5/11-702

* Improper Passing on Left 625 ILCS 5/11-703(a)

* Failure to Yield Right-of-Way to Vehicle Passing on Left 625 ILCS 5/11-703(b)

* Improper Passing on the Right 625 ILCS 5/11-704

* Passing on Left with Insufficient Visibility or 200 Feet of Intersection 625 ILCS 5/11-705

* Driving on Left Side of Roadway Where Prohibited 625 ILCS 5/11-706

* Driving on Left Side of Roadway in a No-Passing Zone 625 ILCS 5/11-707(b)

* Passing Area Where There Exists a School Speed Zone 625 ILCS 5/11-

* Driving One-Way Street or Highway or Around Traffic Island 625 ILCS 5/11-708

* Improper Traffic Lane Usage 625 ILCS 5/11-709(a)

* Improper Center Lane Usage 625 ILCS 5/11-709(b)

* Improper Traffic Lane Usage625 ILCS 5/11-709(c)

* Improper Traffic Lane Usage 625 ILCS 5/11-709(d)

* Passing on Shoulder While Merging in Traffic 625 ILCS 5/11-709.1

* Following Too Closely 625 ILCS 5/11-710

* Operating a Vehicle without a Valid License or Permit 625 ILCS 5/6-101

* Violation of License Classification for 1st and 2nd Division Vehicle 625 ILCS 5/6-104(a)

* Violation of Classification for Transporting Persons for Hire 625 ILCS 5/6-104(b)

* Violation of Classification for Transporting Property for Hire 625 ILCS 5/6-104(c)

* Violation of School Bus Permits 625 ILCS 5/6-104(d)

* Violation of Religious Bus Driver Permits 625 ILCS 5/6-104(e)

* Violation of Classification for Transporting the Elderly 625 ILCS 5/6-104(f)

* Violation of Instruction Permit 625 ILCS 5/6-105

* Passing Vehicle Stopped for Pedestrian 625 ILCS 5/11-1002(d)

* Failing to stop before a the railroad crossing 625 ILCS 5/11-1201(a)

* Failing to slow down & check for clear tracks of approaching train 625 ILCS 5/11-1201(a-5)

* Failing to negotiate a railroad crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance 625 ILCS 5/11-1201(d-1)

* Driving Upon Sidewalk 625 ILCS 5/11-1412.1

* Passing School Bus Receiving or Discharging Children 625 ILCS 5/11-1414(a)

* Failing to have sufficient space through the railroad crossing without stopping 625 ILCS 5/11-1425(b)

3).  Railroad Grade Crossing Violations 49 CFR 383.51(d)

Railroad grade crossing violations apply only if you are driving a CMV. A railroad grade crossing violation will result in a 60-day disqualification for 1st conviction, and a 120-day disqualification for a 2nd conviction within 3 years. A railroad grade crossing violation will result in a 1 year disqualification for 3 or more convictions within 3 years.

4). Violations of Out-of-Service Orders. 

Applies when the driver, vehicle (49 CFR 396.7(c)(1)), or motor carrier is out-of-service. No conviction is required. The driver must be driving a CMV. The driver is placed out of service for 24 hours. 49 CFR 383.51(c) 

a. Driver consumed alcohol within the preceding 4 hours. 49 CFR 392.5(a)(1)

b. Any detectable alcohol in system. 49 CFR 392.5(a)(2)

c. Driver “on duty” has personal possession of alcohol. “On duty” constitutes more than just driving. 49 CFR 392.5(a)(3)

d. Driver on duty refuses chemical test. This does not require Probable Cause to test. (e.g., Every driver at a weigh station could be asked to submit to a test). 

e. Out of service for time violations. 49 CFR 395.3; 395.5; 395.13. The time is extended for adverse weather conditions. 49 CFR 395(1)(b)

Federal Sanctions

A 1st conviction will result in a 90-day to 1 year disqualification if driving a non-HAZMAT vehicle, and a 180-day to 2-year disqualification if driving a HAZMAT vehicle, plus fines ranging from $1,100 to $2,750. 49 CFR 383.51(c)(1)

A 2nd conviction will result in a 1 to 5 year disqualification if driving a non-HAZMAT vehicle, and a 3 to 5 year disqualification if driving a HAZMAT vehicle. 

A 3rd or more conviction in 10 years will result in 3 to 5 year CDL disqualification regardless of what type of CMV you are driving.

5). Cancel/Deny Based on False Statement 49 CFR 383.73(g) 

The only issues at the Hearing are:

a. Whether the driver falsified information;

b. Whether the driver was under restraint at the time of the application for the CDL. 

If either issue is found, no CDL for 60 days. Any driving restraint whatsoever means no CDL.

6). An Imminent Hazard: (Federal) 42 CFR 383.5; 383.52; 386.72(b)(1); 392.3

The Illinois Secretary of State considers the below listed offenses as CDL serious traffic violations (92 Illinois Administrative Code 1040) and are in addition to the offenses listed as serious traffic violations in the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/6-500.26 (A), of the Uniform Commercial Driver’s License Act(UCDLA). 

Below are the Illinois CDL Laws based upon the Federal Regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Essentially, it states that a CDL driver faces a one year disqualification from driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for a first-time DUI or DUI-related suspension, and a lifetime disqualification for a second DUI or DUI-related suspension. A sentence of Court Supervision is considered a conviction for purposes of these regulations.

Disclaimer: The above general information is intended, but not guaranteed, to be accurate and up-to-date. It is not a source of legal advice and you should always speak to a lawyer for the most current state of the law. It is important that all CDL holders who are arrested for a any offense in Illinois obtain a qualified attorney in the area of CDL Law…


* Driving Under the Influence (DUI) * Secretary of State Hearings
* Suspended or Revoked License * Zero Tolerance
* Driver’s License Reinstatement * Minor Consumption of Alcohol
* Boating Under the Influence * Open Alcohol in Vehicle
* Reckless Driving * Speeding in Construction or School Zone
* Auto Accidents * Passing a School Bus
* Reckless Homicide * CDL Violations
* Overweight Trucks * All Traffic Violations