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Things to know about DOT stops regarding your CDL

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2023 | CDL |

If you’re a Texas commercial vehicle driver, you no doubt are aware that the Department of Transportation (DOT) periodically conducts inspections. Such inspections may have implications for your commercial driver’s license (CDL). The more you understand about the system, ahead of time, the better able to resolve any problems that arise you might be.

There are numerous categories of DOT inspection that typically occur annually for commercial vehicles exceeding a certain amount of weight. If you fail any of these inspections, it can affect your CDL. One of the issues that are checked during a DOT inspection is whether you test negative or positive for drug or alcohol use.

A CDL driver and his or her vehicle undergoes inspection

In addition to passing a drug and alcohol test, you must also prove that all of your medical certifications and paperwork are in good order for a DOT inspection. The inspector will also walk around your vehicle, checking to ensure that it is in full compliance with state laws. Everything from your brakes to your steering system and electric cables are checked.

An inspector will also want to carefully review your hours-of-service log book. As a CDL driver, you are obligated to adhere to regulations that govern how long you may stay on the road without stopping to rest.

Do you transport radioactive materials?

If you haul radioactive materials in your vehicle, a DOT inspector will take up to a full hour to check for compliance. If your vehicle passes the test, a sticker is issued to prove that it passed an enhanced level inspection.

What to do if your CDL is negatively affected by a DOT inspection

If you fail a DOT inspection or encounter other challenges that place your CDL at risk, such as facing DUI charges, there may be options available to help mitigate the circumstances. For instance, it is sometimes possible to win a case dismissal when facing a license suspension or revocation. Even if that’s not possible, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all hope is lost.

Many drivers have fought to protect their CDLs in court when evidence showed that a personal rights violation had occurred. You might also be able to convince the court to reduce charges or withhold certain citations from your driving record. If a moving violation, equipment violation or criminal charges are placing your CDL at risk, it is best to seek guidance and support from someone who is experienced in helping people defend their CDLs in court.

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