Driving for a living means performing an often thankless and tiring job that has long hours and a demanding schedule. It also means that you will often have to fulfill the same duties that you do for work while living your daily life off the job.

As someone with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), your driving record is subject to more serious scrutiny than other people’s. If you wind up getting ticketed or arrested for a driving offense in your personal vehicle, there is always the potential for those personal mistakes to have an impact on your professional future by impacting your eligibility for a CDL.

Alcohol-related charges off the clock can affect your CDL

Commercial drivers have to follow substantially stricter rules regarding alcohol consumption when driving commercial vehicles. The limit for alcohol in the bloodstream for commercial drivers is half of what it is for those in a standard passenger vehicle, with drivers facing charges for having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% instead of 0.08%.

Commercial drivers who get charged with an impaired driving offense of 0.04%, even in their own vehicle, could lose their CDL as a result. A conviction or guilty plea related to allegations of a person with a CDL driving with a BAC of 0.04% or higher could very well affect your eligibility for retaining your commercial license.

Smaller infractions can add up over time

While getting a couple of speeding tickets in your personal vehicle won’t necessarily end your eligibility for a commercial license, they can impact your employability and your insurance if you are self-employed.

Many companies will limit the points a driver can have on their license or the number of tickets they can receive in a certain amount of time in order to remain on the company insurance. Too many infractions while driving your own vehicle might mean that your employer views you as more of a liability than an asset. If you pay your own insurance, tickets can mean paying much higher costs.

For these reasons and others, those with commercial licenses may find that it is in their best interest to fight back when they wind up ticketed for an alleged moving offense in their own vehicle.