If You Get A Ticket In Idaho
In Idaho, as in most states, drivers of commercial vehicles are held to stricter standards and licensing requirements than non-commercial drivers. You could lose your CDL for months, a year or even for life, could be disqualified from driving or receive out-of-service orders, depending on the severity of the violation. That’s why if you receive a ticket in Idaho, it’s important to know that you should not just pay the fine without speaking to a legal representative first. By paying the fine, you are defaulting to pleading guilty to a charge that could affect your driving record and, ultimately, your ability to keep driving.
When Idaho courts are determining penalties for traffic violations and DUIs, all out-of-state tickets and violations are factored into the decision. Therefore, even if you commit a first offense in Idaho, it could be counted as a second offense if you had a violation in another state.
The state of Idaho considers speeding, failing to stop at a red light or sign, and lane violations as moving violations. These violations will result in points being added to the driver’s commercial driving record, even if the driver was not hauling a trailer at the time of the incident. As an example, there will be 3 points added to your record if you are convicted for a first-time violation of speeding up to 15 mph over the limit. Speeding 16 mph or more over the limit will result in 4 points added to your record. 3 points will be added for first-time lane violations. Second violations of any of these laws within five years of the first offense can result in higher fines and more points.
Additionally, Idaho categorizes other violations as serious and major, with penalties, fines and points given to the driver based on the severity of the violation.
Idaho considers the following violations to be serious traffic offenses:
- Speeding more than 15 mph over the speed limit
- Reckless driving
- Erratic lane changes
- Following too closely
- Texting while driving
- Driving a commercial vehicle without a CDL
- Any traffic violation involving a fatality
Drivers who commit two serious traffic offenses in three years will have their license revoked for 60 days. Three or more violations will result in a 120-day revocation.
Idaho considers the following violations to be major offenses. A first-time offense of any of these will result in license revocation for one year. A second or subsequent offense will result in lifetime disqualification.
- Refusing to submit to a chemical substance test
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Operating a commercial vehicle with a .04% blood alcohol content or higher
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Using a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony
- Driving a commercial vehicle while your license is revoked
- Causing a fatality due to negligent operation of a commercial vehicle
Drivers who are convicted of using a motor vehicle to distribute, manufacture or transport controlled substances will be disqualified for life.
Out-of-service orders (OSO) will be issued to drivers who commit certain safety violations. OSOs are typically issued by law enforcement officers. CDL license holders caught driving during an OSO will be subject to penalties. The severity of the penalties will depend on the number of violations the driver has had in the past three years. First offenses are subject to a 180-day to one-year license revocation (or up to 2 years if the vehicle is designed for transporting 15 or more passengers or hauling hazardous materials), and a minimum $2500 fine. Second offenses are subject to a two- to five-year license revocation (or three- to five-year revocation if the vehicle is designed for transporting 15 or more passengers or hauling hazardous materials), and a $5000 fine. Third offenses are subject to a three- to five-year license revocation and a minimum $5000 fine.
Additionally, Idaho has specific railroad laws for commercial vehicles. Any driver found violating the railroad crossing regulations will receive a license revocation for 60 days for a first offense, 120 days for a second offense, and 1 year for a third offense.
As a commercial driver, your license and driving record are critical to your success and future employment potential. Don’t put your livelihood at risk by failing to protect yourself. For a minimal cost, you can have the protection and expertise of a knowledgeable legal professional who is dedicated to protecting your good driving record.