Perhaps your love of trucks began in your youth. Maybe you spent hours on the floor and in the dirt, pushing toy rigs around and creating all sorts of stories and adventures, hoping one day, at least some of them might become real. When you finally got your commercial driver's license as an adult, you may have celebrated the milestone while recalling all those wonderful childhood memories. Making your living driving a big rig can be an exciting, rewarding experience.
It can also be highly stressful, especially when you're navigating highways heavily laden with traffic, at top speeds, when you haven't had sleep for many hours. Any number of situations can put your safety behind the wheel at risk. There are also issues that can lead to legal trouble, perhaps even cost you your license.
Violations you'll want to avoid as a tractor-trailer driver
Many of the restrictions and regulations that you must adhere to as a commercial truck driver are more stringent than those set for non-commercial drivers. Knowing what types of violations are most likely to occur over time, and where to turn for help if a problem arises, can help you stay one step ahead of your game:
- Speeding tickets: Like all motorists, you must adhere to posted speed limits wherever you travel by truck. If a police officer writes you a speeding ticket, you're not likely to suffer permanent consequences if it's your first citation for the offense. If, however, you've already had a ticket for the same violation within the past three years, you may undergo a license suspension for 60 days.
- Too many points: Speeding tickets may hit your record with anywhere from two to 10 points. Various other offenses cause points against your license as well. If you get too many, you could lose your license or have it suspended. Employers are less likely to hire you if your driving record is not clean.
- Illegal maneuvers: You have to be especially careful as a tractor-trailer driver when you change lanes, navigate intersections or perform other roadway maneuvers. You may face severe penalties if you rack up too many of these violations.
- Impaired driving charges: One thing you don't want to do if you hope to enjoy a long, safe and happy career as a tractor-trailer driver is consume alcohol or drugs then get behind the wheel. You may not only lose your job or suffer a license suspension, but you may also face criminal charges and wind up doing time behind bars as well.
Like most Arizona truckers, you do your best to adhere to all traffic signs and commercial vehicle driving regulations. When you spend the majority of your time on the road, you're likely to face some type of traffic violation at one time or another. In such circumstances, the steps you take to rectify the situation may greatly impact your career.
Seeking help to protect your license and livelihood
Getting a single speeding ticket in your career is one thing, facing serious criminal charges for drunk driving after you've been involved in a motor vehicle collision that caused injury to another person is quite another. In either circumstance, if you believe your license is at risk or are worried about protecting your rights in court, you may reach out for support from an experienced Arizona defense attorney.