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Law Office of Richard E. Oswalt
The New Kansas CDL Laws
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Effective 4-17-03 there are New CDL laws affecting CDL Drivers licensed in the state of Kansas. Please refer to the Kansas statutes for this complete law.

There are several major changes in the new law that will affect the CDL driver. Most notably are the prohibition from entering into a Diversion Agreement, Lifetime suspensions for a second time DUI or breathe test failure or refusal, and the inclusion of violations committed while in a noncommercial motor vehicle against the CDL record. I will outline a few of these provisions below.
 

 

Note! Please be aware that this webpage is not intended to be a complete review of this new law, and does not discuss any criminal penalties associated with this law, or any violation of the law. It is intended only to serve as an overview of various provisions discussed under this new statute. As with all sections in this website, please review the Kansas statutes, as well as talk to legal council familiar with this new statute, to understand what rights, responsibilities, and defenses are afforded you under this and other Kansas Laws.


“Diversions Agreements” no longer permitted.
 

 

Drivers are now prohibited from entering into a “Diversion Agreement” in lieu of further criminal proceedings that would prevent the drivers conviction for any violation, in any type of motor vehicle, of a state or traffic control law, from appearing on the drivers record, whether the driver was convicted for the offence in the state where the driver is licensed or in another state. (New Section 2, House Bill 2220)
 

The CDL “Suspension Provisions” under the New law.
 

60 day suspensions
(KSA 8-2142(f)) (KSA 8-2142(g))

A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than 60 days if convicted of two “serious traffic violations” committed in a commercial motor vehicle arising from separate incidents occurring within a three year period. (KSA 8-2142(f)).

A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than 60 days if convicted of two “serious traffic violations” committed in a noncommercial motor vehicle arising from separate incidents occurring within a three year period, if such convictions result in the revocation, cancellation or suspension of the person’s driving privileges. (KSA 8-2142(g))

“Serious Traffic Violations” have been defined as follows: (KSA 8-2,2128 (v))

1. Excess speeding, 15 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit.
2. Reckless Driving, as defined under KSA 8-1566 and amendments thereto.
3. A violation of any state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation, arising in
         connection with an accident or collision resulting in death to any person.
4. Changing lanes of traffic illegally or erratically, as defined under KSA 8-1548, and amendments thereto.
5. Following another vehicle too closely, as defined under KSA 8-1523, and amendments thereto.
6. A violation of subsection (a) of KSA 8-2132 and amendments thereto (Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a
         valid permit).
7. Any other violation of a state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation,
         which the secretary determines by rule and regulation to be serious.

 

120 day suspensions
(KSA 8-2142(f)) (KSA 8-2142(g))

A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than 120 days if convicted of three “serious traffic violations” committed in a commercial motor vehicle arising from separate incidents occurring within a three year period. (KSA 8-2142 (f)).

A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than 120 days if convicted of three “serious traffic violations” committed in a noncommercial motor vehicle arising from separate incidents occurring within a three year period, if such convictions result in the revocation, cancellation or suspension of the person’s driving privileges. (KSA 8- 2142(g)).

“Serious Traffic Violations” have been defined as follows: (KSA 8-2,2128 (v))

1. Excess speeding, 15 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit.
2. Reckless Driving, as defined under KSA 8-1566 and amendments thereto.
3. A violation of any state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation,
         arising in connection with an accident or collision resulting in death to any person.
4. Changing lanes of traffic illegally or erratically, as defined under KSA 8-1548, and amendments thereto.
5. Following another vehicle too closely, as defined under KSA 8-1523. and amendments thereto.
6. A violation of subsection (a) of KSA 8-2,132 and amendments thereto. (Driving a commercial motor
         vehicle without a valid permit).
7. Any other violation of a state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation,
         which the secretary determines by rule and regulation to be serious.

One year suspensions
(KSA 8-2,142(a))

A CDL license will be suspended under Kansas law ( KSA 8-2,142(a)) for not less than one year upon a first occurrence of any of the following:

While operating a commercial motor vehicle:

 


1. If convicted of violating KSA 8-2,144 (the statute relating to driving a commercial vehicle under the
          influence of alcohol or drugs).
2. Is convicted of violating subsection (b) of( KSA 8-2, 132)(for operating a vehicle while driving
          privileges are suspended, revoked, or canceled, while subject to disqualification, or in violation
          of an out -of-service order).
3. Has caused a fatality through the negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle.
4. The person refuses or fails to take an alcohol or drug test as defined in KSA 8-2, 142.
          “Test Failure” means a person submitted to a breath test and the person's alcohol concentration is
           .04 or greater, pursuant to KSA 8-2145 and amendments, (KSA 8-2,142 (1)).
 

While operating a non-commercial motor vehicle:

 
1. The person is convicted of a violation of KSA 8-1567, and amendments thereto.
2. The person refuses or fails a breath test as defined in KSA 8-1013 “Test Failure” means a person
         submitted to a breath test and the person's alcohol concentration is .08 or greater, pursuant to
         (KSA 8-1013),
 
While operating any motor vehicle:
 
1. The person is convicted of leaving the scene of an accident,
2. The person is convicted of a felony, other than a felony described in KSA 8-1242(e) while using a
           motor vehicle in the commission of that felony.
 

Three year suspensions
(KSA 8-2142(b))

“If any offense, test refusal, or test failure specified in subsection (KSA 8-2,142(a)) above, occurred in a commercial motor vehicle while transporting a hazardous material required to be placarded, the person is disqualified for a period of not less than three years ( KSA 8-2142 (b)).

Lifetime suspensions
(KSA 8-2,142(c)) (KSA 8-2, 142(e))

A person shall be disqualified for life upon a second or a subsequent occurrence of any offence, test refusal or test failure specified in KSA 8-2,142 (a), or any combination thereof, arising from two or more separate incidents. (KSA 8-2,142 (c)). “Test Failure” means a person submitted to a breath test and the person's alcohol concentration showed results of .04 or greater, pursuant to KSA 8-2145 and amendments while operating a commercial motor vehicle (KSA 8-2,142 (1)), or submitted to a breath test and the person's alcohol concentration showed results of .08 or greater while driving a non-commercial motor vehicle (KSA 8-1013) Note! The Secretary of revenue may reduce the lifetime suspension issued under KSA 9-2,142(c) to a period of 10 years, or longer.

Also, a person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for life, who uses a commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle 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. (KSA 8-2, 142 (e)).

Note! There may be defenses available to you in your defense of the traffic violations discussed under this statute. As with any serious driving charge, you should fully explore your rights and responsibilities under the law. Due to the lengthy term of suspensions under this new law, as well as inclusion of noncommercial traffic violations counting against the CDL license, it is highly recommended that you seek the help of a legal council familiar with this new law to explore your legal defenses to any suspension or revocation action.

Why was this law adopted? The purpose of the new law is to bring Kansas into compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) rule issued July 31, 2002 and effective September 30, 2002. Under this new law, states were given three years after the rule's effective date, to be in substantial compliance with this rule's licensing and sanctioning requirements. Failure by a state to comply, would result in the FMCSA withholding the state issued Motor Carrier Safety Program money. (In Kansas, non-compliance would have cost the state of Kansas up to $18 million the first year, and up to $33 million the second year). Kansas passed their compliance laws on 4-19-03, well within the three year requirement, by approving House Bill #2220, which amends KSA 8- 2,128, 2-132, 2,133, 2-135, and 8-2l42 and repealing the existing sections. Please refer to the Kansas Statutes for a complete outline of these new regulations.

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