Alabama law prevents CDL holders from concealing convictions

| 5/9/2006

Gov. Bob Riley has signed a bill into law that is intended to help ensure that Alabama is in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

The new law, previously HB824, prohibits deferred prosecution or deferred judgments in traffic cases involving commercial drivers. It also prohibits commercial drivers convicted of a traffic offense, even if it occurred in a personal vehicle, from being eligible to keep their driving record clean by completing a driver safety course.

According to the legislative analysis on the bill, compliance with the regulation puts the state in line to receive $30.6 million annually in federal highway dollars.

The Alabama House approved the bill on a 67-26 vote. The Senate unanimously approved it.

The new rule could lead to commercial drivers with one moving traffic violation having their licenses suspended. Alabama law previously required two moving violations to be committed before possible suspension.

Sen. Pat Lindsey, D-Butler, voted for the bill in part to secure federal highway funding for the state. However, he was not happy about the ramifications it could have on truck drivers.

“He loses his license to drive his own truck, then what’s he going to do? With the cost of fuel now, they’re barely breaking even. So, now he’s got to go hire a driver or get his truck repossessed. It’s just bad legislation,” Lindsey told WSFA-TV in Montgomery.

The new rule takes effect this summer.