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What Are the Disqualifications for a CDL License?

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Largely because of the ongoing truck driver shortage, officials estimate that the industry will need a million new drivers over the next ten years just to keep up with current demand. This projected job growth has many people asking about qualifications for a CDL.

In South Carolina, it usually takes between four and six months to obtain a CDL. Most people qualify. But there are some disqualifying conditions. Some other issues could result in temporary suspension or raise the driver’s insurance rate to an unaffordable level.

We understand how badly this state, and this country, needs truck drivers. We also understand that the consequences of a truck crash are often catastrophic for victims. If you were hurt in a truck accident and need money to pay bills, our Lake Wylie trucking accident lawyers are here to help.

Alcohol-Related Suspensions

An official, usually a presiding judge, will issue an OSO (Out of Service Order) if the commercial driver has any issues related to consuming alcohol and driving. Examples include:

  • A conviction for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC), even if the driver was in a private vehicle
  • Failed breath or blood test
  • Refusing to provide a chemical sample

The length of suspension varies. It’s usually 90 days for a first infraction, up to two years for a second infraction within ten years, and up to five years for a third infraction within ten years. Depending on the facts, a second or third infraction could also mean permanent disqualification.

Criminal Suspensions

If you are convicted of any of the following crimes in South Carolina, your CDL could be suspended for up to a year:

  • Using any motor vehicle during the commission of any felony
  • Leaving the scene of an accident, whether or not you were at fault
  • Driving any vehicle on a suspended license
  • Causing a fatal accident

Generally, a suspended CDL doesn’t automatically become valid when the suspension period ends. Instead, the driver must apply for reinstatement. That process usually involves paying a fee and presenting proof of insurance.

Traffic Suspensions

Not all South Carolina traffic tickets affect your CDL. This penalty only applies to serious violations, such as:

  • Speeding higher than 15mph above the limit
  • Following too closely
  • Changing lanes unsafely
  • Driving recklessly
  • Operating a commercial vehicle without a valid license in hand
  • Breaking any traffic law if the violation results in serious injury

Each conviction (not arrest) is a point. Two points in three years is a 60-day suspension. A third point within three years is another 120-day suspension.

Commercial drivers, like all other operators, must obey the rules of the road. For a free consultation with an experienced Lake Wylie personal injury attorney, contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm.


How can I keep a ticket off my record?

Your options normally include traffic school, deferred disposition, and fighting the ticket in court.

What’s the BAC limit for commercial drivers in South Carolina?


When do I need a commercial license?

Most people need a commercial license to drive anything bigger than a large SUV.

Get in touch with us today to get started with your FREE case review. We’re only a call, click, or short drive away.

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