2010 Tennessee Code
Title 55 - Motor and Other Vehicles
Chapter 50 - Uniform Classified and Commercial Driver License Act
Part 4 - Commercial Driver Licenses
55-50-405 - Violations Penalties Driving under the influence.

55-50-405. Violations Penalties Driving under the influence.

(a)  (1)  The commissioner shall suspend for at least one (1) year, a commercial motor vehicle operator who is found to have committed a first violation of:

          (A)  Driving a commercial motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, or with a blood alcohol concentration (B.A.C.) of four-hundredths of one percent (.04 %) or greater;

          (B)  Leaving the scene of an accident while driving a commercial motor vehicle; or

          (C)  Operating a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of a felony, except a controlled substance felony as described in subdivision (a)(4);

     (2)  If the operator commits any of the violations while carrying hazardous materials, the suspension shall be for a period of three (3) years;

     (3)  The commissioner shall suspend for life, or a period not less than ten (10) years, according to department of transportation regulations, a commercial motor vehicle operator who is found to have committed a second violation of:

          (A)  Driving a commercial motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol with a B.A.C. of point zero four (.04) or greater, or other controlled substance;

          (B)  Leaving the scene of an accident while driving a commercial motor vehicle; or

          (C)  Using a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of a felony;

     (4)  The commissioner shall suspend for life, a commercial motor vehicle operator who is found to have used a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of a felony involving the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance, or possession with intent to distribute;

     (5)  The commissioner shall suspend for a period of not less than sixty (60) days each person who in a three-year period has committed two (2) serious traffic violations involving a commercial motor vehicle, and for not less than one hundred twenty (120) days each person who has committed three (3) serious traffic violations in a three-year period;

     (6)  (A)  Any person violating subdivisions (a)(1), (2), and (3) shall, upon conviction, be punished pursuant to the requirements of § 55-10-403, except for provision of license suspension, which shall be in accordance with this subsection (a); and

          (B)  Any person violating subdivision (a)(4) shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), and be imprisoned for not less than ninety (90) days nor more than one (1) year;

     (7)  The commissioner shall suspend the driver license of a driver who is convicted of violating an out-of-service order while driving a commercial motor vehicle for one hundred eighty (180) days if the driver is convicted of a first violation of an out-of-service order. The commissioner shall suspend the driver license of a driver who is convicted of violating an out-of-service order while driving a commercial motor vehicle for two (2) years if, during any ten-year period, the driver is convicted of two (2) violations of out-of-service orders in separate incidents. The commissioner shall suspend the driver license of a driver who is convicted of violating an out-of-service order while driving a commercial motor vehicle for three (3) years if, during any ten-year period, the driver is convicted of three (3) or more violations of out-of-service orders in separate incidents;

     (8)  The commissioner shall suspend the driver license for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days if a driver is convicted of violating an out-of-service order while driving a commercial motor vehicle while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, codified in 49 U.S.C. app. 1801-1813, or while operating a motor vehicle designed to transport more than fifteen (15) passengers including the driver. The commissioner shall suspend the driver license of a driver who is convicted of violating an out-of-service order while driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of three (3) years if the driver is convicted of any subsequent violation of out-of-service orders, in separate incidents, while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, or while operating a commercial motor vehicle designed to transport more than fifteen (15) passengers, including the driver; and

     (9)  The commissioner shall suspend the driver license of a commercial motor vehicle operator who is convicted of violating a railroad highway grade crossing law or regulation while operating a commercial motor vehicle, for not less than sixty (60) days for a first conviction; not less than one hundred twenty (120) days for a second conviction, if the violation occurred within a three (3) year period from the first violation; and one (1) year for a third conviction, if the violation occurred within three (3) years from the first violation, for the following offenses:

          (A)  For drivers who are not required to always stop pursuant to § 55-8-147, failing to slow down and check that the railroad highway grade crossing to be sure it is clear of an approaching train;

          (B)  For drivers who are not required to always stop pursuant to § 55-8-147, failing to stop before reaching the railroad highway grade crossing if the tracks are not clear;

          (C)  A conviction of § 55-8-147;

          (D)  Failure to have sufficient space to drive completely through the railroad highway grade crossing without stopping;

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

          (F)  Failure to negotiate a railroad highway grade crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance.

(b)  Any person violating § 55-50-401 shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), and be imprisoned for not less than ten (10) days nor more than ninety (90) days.

(c)  Any person violating § 55-50-402 shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), and imprisoned for not less than two (2) days nor more than thirty (30) days.

(d)  Any person violating § 55-50-403 shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500).

(e)  Any person violating § 55-50-404 shall, upon conviction of a first offense, be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), and be imprisoned for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ninety (90) days; and upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, be fined not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) and be imprisoned for not less than ninety (90) days nor more than one (1) year.

(f)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this part to the contrary, any person who violates § 55-50-404 due to failure to observe the one hundred fifty-mile restriction imposed by § 55-50-102(12)(B)(i) shall be punished only by a fine of ten dollars ($10.00). No court costs or litigation taxes may be collected or assessed on the violations.

(g)  Notwithstanding any other provision in this title, the privilege of operating a commercial motor vehicle shall be subject to the provisions of 49 CFR parts 383 and 384 relative to the disqualification of drivers.

(h)  Any person charged with driving a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver license in the driver's possession, may, on or before the court date, submit evidence of compliance at the time of the violation. If the court is satisfied that compliance was in effect at the time of the violation, the charge shall be dismissed without cost to the defendant and no litigation tax shall be due or collected, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary.

(i)  Pursuant to 49 CFR 350.341, no provision of law relative to commercial driver licenses, including, but not limited to, physical qualification standards and records to be kept by drivers, shall be applicable to drivers of motor vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of twenty-six thousand pounds (26,000 lbs.) or less that are operated in intrastate commerce to transport property, and that do not transport:

     (1)  Hazardous materials required to be placarded;

     (2)  Sixteen (16) or more persons, including the driver; or

     (3)  Passengers for hire.

[Acts 1937, ch. 90, § 5; impl. am. Acts 1939, ch. 205, §§ 2, 3; C. Supp. 1950, § 2715.13 (Williams, § 2715.18); Acts 1973, ch. 224, §§ 1, 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-706; Acts 1988, ch. 584, § 6; T.C.A., §§ 55-7-106, 55-7-405; Acts 1996, ch. 799, §§ 4, 5; 2001, ch. 110, § 3; 2005, ch. 235, §§ 5, 6, 8; 2009, ch. 321, §§ 21-24.]  

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