If You Get A Ticket In Indiana
If you are planning to become a commercial vehicle driver in Indiana, you should be aware that violations or accidents that occur in your personal vehicle could affect your commercial driving record. CDL holders who operate commercial vehicles are subject to the same violation points as drivers of private vehicles. However, commercial vehicle drivers who incur 18 or more active points within two years are subject to license suspension. Points on your driving record will remain active for two years from the conviction date, so it’s important to understand your options and rights any time you are issued a ticket. An experienced legal professional who is knowledgeable in truck driving law can guide you – and, many times, help you get fines and points reduced. You owe it to yourself and your driving record to contact a professional and protect your career.
Points are given based on the severity of the offense, with the lowest point value being 2, and maximum point value being 8. The state of Indiana has a Point Study Committee that evaluates offenses and the associated points.
Some examples of common violations and associated points are as follows:
2 points: speeding up to 15 mph over the speed limit, failure to signal.
4 points: speeding 16-25 mph over the speed limit, disregarding a traffic device, improper passing.
6 points: speeding 25 mph or more over the speed limit, failure to yield, following too closely, reckless driving, operating without a valid license.
8 points: failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, passing a school bus, driving while suspended, operating a CMV while intoxicated, reckless driving that results in an injury.
There are also CDL-specific violations, which range in severity. Some of the most common offenses for commercial drivers are violating weight and grade restrictions, improper lane changes, not following logbook rules, improperly loading cargo, failure to file a Motor Carrier Quarterly Tax Report, and not securing required permits for oversized or overweight vehicles. Fines vary for these violations but can also result in a temporary suspension of your CDL.
Offenses that are classified as serious or major in the state of Indiana can have long-term consequences for your driving record and career. Always contact a professional experienced commercial driving lawyer immediately if you receive a ticket for any violation.
Serious violations for commercial drivers in the state of Indiana include:
- Speeding 15 mph or more over the speed limit
- Operating a CMV without a proper license
- Reckless driving
- Driving a CMV in a way that endangers others
- Following too closely
- Any traffic violation involving a fatality
- Railroad crossing violations
Drivers will face a license suspension of 60 days if 2 serious violations are committed within 3 years, and a 120-day suspension if 3 are committed within 3 years. Additionally, if you are convicted of 2 offenses within 2 years, you will be required to attend a driver’s education course.
CMV drivers who are convicted of offenses classified as major could lose their CDL for a year. These include:
- Refusal to take a chemical blood, breath, or urine test to identify the presence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving a CMV with a blood alcohol count (BAC) of 0.04% or higher or driving any vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony
- Driving a commercial vehicle with a suspended, revoked, or canceled CDL
- Violating an out-of-service order
- Negligence in a commercial vehicle that results in a fatality
NOTE: CDL drivers who are convicted of using a motor vehicle in the production or transportation of controlled substances or in the commission of a felony will automatically receive a lifetime CDL disqualification.
You are required by law to notify your employer within 30 days if you receive a traffic offense conviction. If you have your CDL disqualified for any reason, you must notify your employer by the end of the next business day.
While the legal alcohol limit in Indiana is 0.08%, the state imposes a lower limit on commercial drivers who are operating commercial vehicles. A blood alcohol level of 0.04% is considered over the limit in these circumstances. Being charged with a DUI in either your personal or commercial vehicle can have a damaging effect on your driving record and career. Always contact a legal professional with experience in trucking law if you are arrested for DUI. It’s critical to your driving record and future driving career that you have a professional on your side.