Interviewer: How does it work for commercial CDL holders, commercial driver’s license holders? Is their point system the same? Will they face more serious penalties?
Commercial Drivers Are Subject to a Lower Legal Blood Alcohol Limit
Ron Mondello: Their point system is enhanced. If they are in a commercial vehicle, and they are speeding, the points are enhanced. If they’re in a commercial vehicle and they get are suspected of DWI, they are subject to a lower legal blood alcohol limit. Right now the legal limit is 0.08 for people, but when you’re in your commercial vehicle, I believe the legal limit is a lower 0.05.
Commercial Drivers are Subject to Enhanced Penalties because of the Size of the Trucks
The reason being, your commercial driver’s license holder is held to a higher standard than the regular personal driver. With a person who’s driving a dump truck, if they’re intoxicated and in an accident because of the impairment, it is highly likely that they will cause more damage to the vehicles around them versus somebody that’s in their own private vehicle.
Interviewer: Does it make a difference if they’re in the commercial vehicle or their personal vehicle?
Ron Mondello: It does. The point system relates to them immediately if they get a ticket while they’re in their commercial vehicle. It doesn’t always apply to them when they’re in their own personal, residential, or private vehicle. On a Sunday, if he’s in his Volkswagen Beetle, and he’s 15 miles over the speed limit, that’s a lot different than if he’s in his dump truck on a Monday morning doing the same speed limit.
Tickets Issued to Commercial Drivers Cause their Employers Insurance Rates to Increase
Interviewer: Will the company that employs the CDL holder just fire them, even if they get one violation, or are they lenient?
It Is Important for a Commercial Driver to Retain an Attorney to Handle Any Traffic Infraction
Ron Mondello: That, of course, depends on the employer. What happens is the employer’s insurance goes up so dramatically that I have seen drivers get fired. That’s why it’s very, very important for commercial driver’s license holders to make sure that they protect their license. They absolutely, every time they get some type of an infraction, they should see an attorney. They have to understand what their exposure is. They have to understand how the situation can potentially be fixed, damage control.
Commercial Drivers Are Not Likely to Be Treated Leniently by the Police
Interviewer: Do the police treat commercial drivers more leniently or do they target them because they are driving professionally?
Ron Mondello: From my experience, they don’t go easy on these commercial drivers because they are held to a higher standard. They’re driving tractor-trailers. They’re driving dump trucks. They’re driving vehicles that are just simply more inherently dangerous.
They do get pulled over more often than private vehicle owners for that reason, because they can cause a lot more damage. There is a big difference in people going 30 miles an hour over the speed limit in a Beetle versus a dump truck.
Attorney Mondello Has Handled Many Cases for Commercial Drivers because New Jersey Roadways See a Good Deal of Commercial Traffic
Interviewer: Do they commonly drive up to New Jersey on the turnpike? Is New Jersey a state frequented by commercial drivers?
Ron Mondello: I’ve represented commercial drivers that received tickets almost on every major roadway in the state, whether it’s 208, whether it’s the turnpike, whether it’s 287. It can be any road.