If you hold a commercial driver’s license in Florida, some traffic offenses can put your career at risk. Depending on the type of ticket, you could temporarily or permanently lose your CDL. 

Be aware of Florida’s serious CDL violations and prepare to challenge an accusation that jeopardizes your employment. 

Serious CDL violations 

Florida issues an out-of-service order for certain legal violations. These convictions result in an automatic CDL disqualification, which means the person loses his or her license temporarily. CDL drivers can receive an out-of-service order for: 

  • An arrest with blood alcohol content of 0.04% or higher 
  • Changing lanes improperly 
  • Traffic violation that causes a fatality 
  • Driving a vehicle outside the scope of his or her CDL 
  • Following too closely behind another vehicle 
  • Traveling at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit 
  • Failure to drive safely at a railroad crossing 
  • Breath test refusal with reasonable cause by law enforcement 

Penalties for CDL violations 

The length of license disqualification for a violation depends on the offense. In general, however, the driver will lose his or her CDL for: 

  • 180 days to 12 months for a first offense, or up to 24 months if driving a hazmat vehicle or one that can accommodate at least 15 passengers 
  • Two to five years for a second offense in 10 years, or a minimum of three years for a large-capacity or hazmat vehicle 
  • Three to five years for a third offense in 10 years 

Certain violations result in lifetime revocation of the driver’s CDL. These convictions include the first offense of transporting drugs in a vehicle and the second offense for any violation in a hazmat vehicle, negligent action resulting in a fatality, driving on a suspended CDL, felony involving a motor vehicle, leaving an accident scene and receiving a DUI. 

In addition, Florida law requires CDL drivers to notify their employer within 30 days of receiving a traffic ticket. This law applies even when the person was driving his or her personal vehicle when the violation occurred.