TITLE 32. MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC REGULATION

CHAPTER 2. DRIVER'S LICENSE LAW

 

32:414.2  Commercial motor vehicle drivers and drivers with a commercial learner's permit;  disqualification;  issuance of Class "D" or "E" license;  alcohol content in breath and blood;  implied consent

 

A. (1)(a) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a person shall be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for committing any offense specified in this Section.  The disqualification offenses apply to violations occurring in this or any other state or in any foreign jurisdiction complying with the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for commercial motor vehicles.  The department shall suspend, revoke, or cancel the commercial driving privileges of a person who is disqualified to drive pursuant to this Section.  If the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration so provides, the department may establish procedures by which a driver with a lifetime disqualification under Paragraph (2) of this Subsection may apply to have the disqualification reduced to a period of not less than ten years and be eligible for reinstatement of commercial driving privileges.  Any subsequent offense specified in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection shall disqualify the individual from commercial driving privileges for life.  Such individual shall not be eligible for reinstatement.  If a driver is suspended or revoked from operating a Class "D" or "E" motor vehicle, he shall also be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

 

(b)(i) There shall be no economic hardship license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.  Upon receipt of a conviction of an offense which requires disqualification of commercial driving privileges, the department shall disqualify the individual from commercial driving privileges.  A disqualification shall be imposed even if the conviction is set aside or dismissed pursuant to any provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure unless the conviction is set aside or dismissed because of an appeal of the conviction.  The disqualification shall become part of the individual's official operating record.

 

(ii) Whenever a person has been disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle, such person shall be issued a Class "D" or "E" driver's license upon expiration of any license suspension, revocation, or cancellation resulting from the disqualifying offense and provided his Class "D" or "E" driving privileges are otherwise valid.  The license shall be valid for the duration of the disqualification of his commercial motor vehicle privileges.  When the license becomes invalid, the licensee shall apply for a renewal of the license if he desires to retain his Class "D" or "E" driving privileges.  The license shall not be issued until the licensee's commercial driver's license has been surrendered to the office of motor vehicles.  The driving record shall reflect the class of license previously held.  When the licensee's privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle has been restored, his commercial driver's license shall be returned to him if it has not expired during the duration of the disqualification.  If the commercial driver's license has expired, the licensee shall report to a driver's license office for renewal of the commercial driver's license.

 

(iii) The department shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to the administration and enforcement of this Subparagraph.

 

(c) As used in this Section, "alcohol concentration" shall mean the concentration of alcohol in a person's blood, breath, or urine, or other bodily substance.  When expressed as a percentage, alcohol concentration means the numbers of grams of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of blood, the number of grams of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of breath, the number of grams of alcohol per sixty-seven milliliters of urine, or their equivalents.

 

(d) For the purposes of this Section, when operating a commercial motor vehicle, "serious traffic violation" means conviction of any of the following:

 

(i) Excessive speeding, involving any single offense for any speed of fifteen miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit.

 

(ii) Reckless driving, as defined by state or local law or regulation, including, but not limited to, offenses of driving a commercial motor vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

 

(iii) Improper or erratic traffic lane changes.

 

(iv) Following the vehicle ahead too closely.

 

(v) Except as otherwise provided in this Section, a violation arising in connection with a fatal accident or of a state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation.  Serious traffic violations shall not include vehicle weight and defect violations.

 

(vi) Driving a commercial motor vehicle without first obtaining a commercial driver's license.

 

(vii) Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver's license in the driver's possession.

 

(viii) Driving a commercial motor vehicle without the proper class of commercial driver's license.

 

(ix) Driving a commercial motor vehicle without possessing the proper endorsement for the vehicle being operated or for the passengers or cargo being transported.

 

(x) Texting while driving.

 

(e) For the purposes of this Section, when operating a commercial motor vehicle, "railroad grade crossing violation" shall mean a conviction for any of the following:

 

(i) Failure to slow down and check that the railroad grade crossing is clear from an approaching train if the driver is not required to stop at such crossing according to the provisions of this Chapter.

 

(ii) Failure to stop before a railroad grade crossing when there is an approaching train if the driver is not otherwise required to stop at such crossing according to the provisions of this Chapter.

 

(iii) Failure to stop before traversing a railroad grade crossing if the driver is required to stop at such crossing according to the provisions of this Chapter.

 

(iv) Failure to completely traverse a railroad grade crossing without stopping.

 

(v) Failure to obey a traffic control device or the directions of an enforcement official at a railroad grade crossing.

 

(vi) Failure to negotiate a railroad grade crossing due to insufficient undercarriage clearance.

 

(2) Any person shall be disqualified for life from operating a commercial motor vehicle for:

 

(a) Use of a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle by a commercial driver's license holder in the commission of a felony involving the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance, and the commercial driver's license holder shall not be eligible for the ten-year reinstatement.  For purposes of this Subparagraph, "felony" shall be defined as an offense under state or federal law that is punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

 

(b) Use of a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle by a commercial driver's license holder in the commission of more than one felony arising out of different crime episodes.  For purposes of this Subparagraph, "felony" shall be defined as an offense under state or federal law that is punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

 

(c)(i) Conviction of a second offense of operating under the influence of alcohol, operating with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more, or operating while under the influence of a controlled substance while operating a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle by a commercial driver's license holder.

 

(ii) Conviction of a second offense of driving under the influence of alcohol with an alcohol concentration of at least 0.04 percent but under an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

 

(d) A second offense of leaving the scene of an accident in a commercial motor vehicle  or noncommercial motor vehicle by a commercial driver's license holder.

 

(e) A second offense of refusal to submit to an alcohol concentration or drug test, while operating a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle by a commercial driver's license holder.

 

(f) Two or more of any combination of the offenses listed in Paragraph (A)(4), which arise from different episodes.

 

(g) A second offense of operating a commercial motor vehicle when, as a result of prior violations committed while operating a commercial motor vehicle, the driver's commercial driver's license is suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified.

 

(h) A second offense of causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle, including but not limited to the offenses of manslaughter, negligent homicide, and vehicular homicide.

 

(3) Any person shall be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a minimum period of three years for any of the offenses listed in Paragraph (A)(4), while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded, or any other disqualification established by the department by regulation.

 

(4) Except as provided in Subparagraph (A)(2)(a) for lifetime disqualification, and in Paragraph (A)(3) for three years disqualification for offenses committed while transporting hazardous materials, any person shall be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a minimum period of one year for:

 

(a)(i) A first conviction of a commercial driver's license holder, while operating a commercial motor vehicle or a noncommercial motor vehicle, of operating under the influence of alcohol, operating with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more, or operating under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance.

 

(ii) A first conviction of a commercial driver's license holder of driving under the influence of alcohol with an alcohol concentration of at least 0.04 percent but under an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

 

(b) Using a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle by a commercial driver's license holder in the commission of a felony not described in Subparagraph (A)(2)(a) of this Section.

 

(c) A first offense of leaving the scene of an accident in a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle by a commercial driver's license holder.

 

(d) A first offense of refusal to submit to an alcohol concentration or drug test, while operating a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle by a commercial driver's license holder.

 

(e) A first offense of operating a commercial motor vehicle when, as a result of prior violations committed while operating a commercial motor vehicle, the driver's commercial driver's license is suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified.

 

(f) A first offense of causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle, including but not limited to the offenses of manslaughter, negligent homicide, and vehicular homicide.

 

(5) Any person shall be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than sixty days if convicted of two serious traffic violations or convicted of one railroad grade crossing violation, or not less than one hundred twenty days if convicted of three serious traffic violations or two railroad grade crossing violations, arising from separate incidents occurring within a three-year period.  Any person shall be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than one year if convicted of three railroad grade crossing violations arising from separate incidents occurring within a three-year period.

 

(6) For purposes of Paragraph (A)(5) of this Subsection, any person who commits a serious traffic offense as defined in Paragraph (A)(1), including driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more, while operating a Class "A", "B", or "C" motor vehicle, shall be subject to the reporting, suspension, revocation, or enhancement penalties provided for in this Section and R.S. 32:1471 et seq.

 

(7)(a) In accordance with the provisions of this Subsection and the reporting requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, if the department disqualifies the driving privileges of a person licensed in another jurisdiction, the department shall notify the licensing entity of the jurisdiction in which the person is licensed of the person's disqualification of nonresident driving privileges in Louisiana.  The notice shall include the disqualification and the violation that caused the disqualification.

 

(b) Any notice of disqualification the department receives from another jurisdiction shall be included in a person's official operating record in accordance with the reporting requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

 

(8)(a) The department may report to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration any driver operating a commercial motor vehicle whose driving may constitute an imminent hazard.  An imminent hazard shall be defined as the existence of a condition which presents a substantial likelihood that death, serious illness, severe personal injury, or substantial endangerment to health, property, or the environment will occur before the reasonably foreseeable completion date of a formal proceeding commenced to lessen the risk of death, illness, injury, or endangerment.

 

(b) Any disqualification imposed on a driver, licensed in Louisiana, whose driving is determined by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration to constitute an imminent hazard shall become part of the individual's official operating record.

 

(c) A driver disqualified under other provisions of this Section who is simultaneously disqualified under the provisions of this Paragraph shall serve the disqualification periods concurrently.

 

(9)(a) The operating record of a commercial motor vehicle driver shall include those offenses where an individual has pled guilty and been sentenced thereupon, forfeited bond resulting in a final judgment of forfeiture, or been found guilty in a final disposition by a court of competent jurisdiction of violating a law in the operation of a motor vehicle, regulatory actions in which an individual has been adjudged at fault, and any accident in which the driving privileges of the person are suspended for failure to provide liability security or proof of financial security.  "Final disposition" for purposes of this Paragraph shall mean a final conviction, not capable of appeal or review, and not subject to dismissal.  "Conviction" for purposes of this Section shall include an unvacated adjudication of guilt or a determination in a court of original jurisdiction or by an authorized administrative tribunal that a person has violated or failed to comply with the law;  an unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure the person's appearance in court;  a plea of guilty or nolo contendere accepted by a court;  the payment of a fine or court costs;  or a violation of a condition of release without bail, regardless of whether the penalty is rebated, suspended, or probated.  A conviction shall occur regardless of whether a person is referred to a remedial or pretrial diversion program as an alternative to the imposition of a penalty, fine, or other sanction.

 

(b) Any law enforcement officer who cites the operator of a commercial motor vehicle for a moving violation on a Department of Public Safety and Corrections motor carrier safety inspection report shall issue the operator of the commercial motor vehicle a ticket in compliance with R.S. 32:398.1 and dispose of such ticket as provided for in R.S. 32:398.2.  A citation for a moving violation issued by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections on a motor carrier safety inspection report shall not result in a fine, civil penalty, or fee.

 

B. (1)(a) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary or Subsection A of this Section, an operator of a commercial motor vehicle shall not have any measured alcohol concentration or any detected presence of alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance while operating or taking part in operating, or in physical control of, a commercial motor vehicle.

 

(b) For purposes of this Subsection, an out-of-service order means a declaration by an authorized enforcement officer of a federal, state, Canadian, Mexican, or local jurisdiction, declaring that a commercial motor vehicle driver, a commercial motor vehicle, or a motor carrier operation is out-of-service pursuant to 49 C.F.R. 386.72, 392.5, 395.13, or 396.9, or other compatible laws, or pursuant to the North American Uniform Out-of-Service criteria.

 

(c) Violation of this Subsection or refusal to submit to an alcohol concentration or drug test shall subject the person to a minimum twenty-four-hour out-of-service period.

 

(2) Any driver who is found in violation of an out-of-service order while driving a commercial motor vehicle shall be subject to the following penalties:

 

(a) Upon a first conviction, the driver shall be subject to disqualification for a period of not less than one hundred eighty days nor more than one year.  Any driver who is found in violation twice within a ten-year period shall be subject to disqualification for not less than two years nor more than five years.  If a driver is found in violation three or more separate times within a ten-year period, the driver shall be subject to disqualification for not less than three years nor more than five years.

 

(b) Upon a first conviction, if the driver was transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 App.U.S.C.A. 1801-1813) or a vehicle designed to transport more than fifteen persons, the driver shall be subject to disqualification for a period of not less than one hundred eighty days nor more than two years.  If a driver is found in violation two or more separate times within a ten-year period while transporting hazardous materials or while operating a vehicle designed to transport more than fifteen persons, the driver shall be subject to disqualification for not less than three years nor more than five years.

 

C. (1) The act of operating a commercial motor vehicle shall constitute implied consent to be tested for any trace of alcohol, or controlled substances.

 

(2) The procedures for testing commercial motor vehicle operators for alcohol or controlled substances, and for reporting the results shall, with any appropriate modifications, be the same as for other drivers.  The department may enact special provisions by regulation to take into account the unique requirements imposed by this Section.  An officer need only have a reasonable belief that such a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs which may impair the driver's ability to safely drive to place him out-of-service.  If a person operating a commercial motor vehicle refuses to submit to an alcohol concentration or drug test, the officer shall inform him that he may be disqualified from driving for the time periods specified in this Section and may be subject to stiffer criminal and civil penalties.

 

D. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this Section, the department shall notify, in accordance with the reporting requirement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the licensing entity of another jurisdiction when any driver licensed by that jurisdiction is convicted in Louisiana of a traffic control violation, other than a parking violation, under either of the following circumstances:

 

(a) Regardless of the type of vehicle in which the violation occurred, the person convicted holds a commercial driver's license.

 

(b) Regardless of the type of license the person convicted holds, the violation occurred in a commercial motor vehicle.

 

(2) Licensing entities in other jurisdictions shall notify, in accordance with the reporting requirement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the department when a person holding a Louisiana driver's license is convicted of a traffic control violation, other than a parking violation, under either of the circumstances described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection.  When the department receives notice as provided for in this Paragraph, the conviction shall become part of the driver's official operating record.

 

E. (1) Unless a longer suspension or disqualification period is provided for in Subsections A through D of this Section, a commercial driver's license applicant or holder shall be disqualified from operating a school bus for a period of ten years for the following:

 

(a) Conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance while operating a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle.

 

(b) Refusal to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his blood when arrested for an offense arising out of acts alleged to have been committed while the driver was driving or in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle while believed to be under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a controlled substance.

 

(2) Upon application of the driver, the department may reinstate the "S" endorsement if the driver meets all of the following conditions:

 

(a) The driver is not convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance while operating a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle for a period of five years after conviction of the disqualifying offense or refusal.

 

(b) The driver has not refused to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his blood when arrested for an offense arising out of acts alleged to have been committed while the driver was driving or in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle while believed to be under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a controlled substance for a period of five years after the disqualifying offense or refusal.

 

(c) The driver has successfully completed medical treatment or medically approved group therapy or special education courses for or about the disease of alcoholism, alcohol abuse, or drug abuse, in a suitable public or private institution or program approved by the appropriate state authority following the disqualifying offense or refusal.

 

Added by Acts 1989, No. 293, § 1, eff. June 27, 1989.  Amended by Acts 1990, No. 931, § 1;  Acts 1993, No. 382, § 1;  Acts 1995, No. 286, § 1;  Acts 1995, No. 693, § 1;  Acts 1997, No. 264, § 1;  Acts 1999, No. 462, § 1;  Acts 1999, No. 583, § 1;  Acts 2002, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 131, § 1;  Acts 2003, No. 394, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004;  Acts 2003, No. 402, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004;  Acts 2003, No. 403, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004;  Acts 2003, No. 406, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004;  Acts 2003, No. 408, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004;  Acts 2003, No. 418, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004;  Acts 2003, No. 580, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004;  Acts 2004, No. 542, § 1;  Acts 2007, No. 61, § 1;  Acts 2008, No. 302, § 1;  Acts 2008, No. 836, § 1;  Acts 2010, No. 401, § 1;  Acts 2011, No. 193, § 1;  Acts 2012, No. 203, § 1.