With the explosive growth of rapid-delivery shopping sites, commercial trucking is an in-demand profession. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 5% increase in the number of commercial truck drivers over the next decade.
To work as a professional truck driver, you probably need a commercial driver’s license. Certain infractions, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, often result in a lifetime suspension of a driver’s CDL, though. Fortunately, despite its name, a lifetime suspension may not be permanent.
Reducing a lifetime suspension
Because CDL suspensions are fact-specific, it is important to carefully investigate whether you are eligible for a reduction of your lifetime suspension. For many drivers, however, shortening a lifetime suspension to just 10 years is possible. To do so, you must meet each of the following criteria:
- Your suspension must not be because of vehicular homicide, human trafficking or a felony-drug conviction.
- A decade must have passed since you received your lifetime suspension.
- You must have a current and valid C-class Georgia driver’s license.
- You must have a clean driving record for the five-year period immediately before you apply for reinstatement.
- Your CDL suspension must stem from an infraction in the Peach State.
Applying for CDL reinstatement
If you believe you are eligible to once again have a CDL, you may ask state officials to lift your lifetime disqualification. To do so, you must pay a nonrefundable CDL restoration fee. You must also provide a current copy of your Georgia motor vehicle record and U.S. Department of Transportation medical certification. Furthermore, for DUI-related suspensions, you must also produce the findings of a current drug and alcohol evaluation.
Protecting your employment rights
DUI convictions often lead to serious legal penalties. For commercial drivers, a DUI-related offense may also ruin employment prospects. Therefore, if you are facing DUI charges, you must not only fight for your legal rights, but you must protect your right to work in your chosen field. While defending yourself aggressively against DUI charges may help you keep your CDL, you may also open future employment opportunities by knowing when to apply for reinstatement.