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Dangers to semi-truck drivers on South Dakota roadways

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2019 | Firm News |

When charged with DUI traffic violations, semi-truck drivers are particularly vulnerable to license revocation and fines in South Dakota. Semi-truck accidents with DUI-impaired drivers can result in serious injuries and fatalities. 

Many conditions can occur that result in a CDL charge that is not under the driver’s control, such as sudden adverse weather conditions or interference from a passenger vehicle causing the truck to swerve and jackknife. Other situations may be more under the driver’s control and may result in more serious consequences if they violate a CDL.

South Dakota consequences for CDL violations

A driver can apply for a commercial driving license in South Dakota at age 21. The driver can receive a limited CDL at the age of 18 for in-state driving only and is not allowed to transport hazardous materials. South Dakota uses fines and a points system on a driver’s CDL for minor moving violations. Accumulating 12 points in a single year results in license suspension. Some of the specific CDL violations can vary between South Dakota cities. It is incumbent upon drivers to know the law for street load limits of each city they encounter.

DUI consequences in South Dakota for CDL violations

A DUI commercial driver conviction in South Dakota results from half the blood alcohol amount allowed for a regular driver. The driver will additionally face fines, a misdemeanor record and possible jail time. Charges may include loss of the driver’s CDL. A semi-truck driver depends on a clean CDL record. A South Dakota driver charged with a DUI in another state will still be subject to South Dakota’s 12-month license suspension law. In addition to state driving laws, trucking companies may impose additional sanctions on drivers with violations and may sever employment for semi-truck drivers with a first-time DUI charge.

CDL operators have rights to fair representation 

Many other situations can occur where the semi-truck driver is not guilty of wrongdoing. It is important for anyone charged with a CDL violation to immediately secure representation. CDL DUI charges are severe and penalties are heavier than those for regular vehicle operators.