Many people who live in or around Springfield and who get a ticket may think it just means having to pay a fine and maybe having to pay some additional premium on automobile insurance.
Truckers and other commercial drivers, however, know how serious a traffic ticket can be.
Depending on the violation, a ticket can mean that the driver will have her commercial license disqualified, meaning she cannot legally earn a living by driving during the disqualification.
Additionally, people who drive for a living can lose job opportunities, or if they are in business for themselves, face financial trouble should they not be able to find affordable insurance.
Alcohol violations, other major traffic violations can cause disqualification
A commercial driver must take any allegation of drunk or drugged driving seriously, even if the incident happened in one’s personal vehicle. However, commercial drivers also have to follow stricter rules about drinking and driving. Even stricter penalties apply to drivers hauling hazardous materials.
For one, no matter the state’s other laws, refusing a blood or breath test results in a disqualification for 1 year, and a second conviction results in a lifetime disqualification with re-consideration possible only after 10 years. These rules apply even if the incident happens in the driver’s personal vehicle.
The same penalty applies for a person caught driving a commercial vehicle with more than .04 BAC, which, it is worth pointing out, is much lower than the .08 legal limit.
A truck driver also faces these enhanced penalties should he be accused of leaving the scene of an accident, no matter the vehicle involved, and for causing a fatal accident while in a commercial vehicle, even if it was due to simple human carelessness.
Even more routine traffic tickets can lead to disqualifications
Truckers also can be disqualified, for 60 to 120 days, if they have multiple traffic tickets labeled serious traffic violations. Not every ticket is a serious violation, but many common infractions, like going more than 15 miles over the limit, following too closely, texting and driving in violation of Illinois law, and making improper lane changes, are on the list.
Whether from the area or just passing through while traveling on Interstate 55, truckers who receive tickets in or around Springfield should evaluate their legal options.