Commercial Trucking Violations

CDL trucking violations.

Commercial Trucking Violations

Semi-truck drivers are required to have their commercial driver’s license (CDL) and must follow both federal and state trucking laws. Laws for commercial truck drivers are quite strict and are above-and-beyond the driving laws that are in place for the typical, non-commercial driver. With such a myriad of often-confusing laws, CDL drivers may easily find themselves in violation if pulled over by a law enforcement official.

CDL truck drivers often find themselves in violations of the following regulations:

Weight Regulations

As defined in A.R.S. 28-1100, vehicles driven on a highway may have the following maximum gross weights:

  1. 20,000 pounds, including enforcement tolerances, on any one axle.
  2. 34,000 pounds, including enforcement tolerances, on a tandem axle.
  3. 80,000 pounds on a vehicle combination of five axles or more.

As defined in A.R.S. 28-1101, a first weight violation is a civil offense, limited to fines ranging from $100 to over $1400 depending on the excess weight. However, a second violation within six months of the preceding judgement is a class 3 misdemeanor (with up to 30 days of incarceration), and a second conviction within one year of the preceding conviction is a class 2 misdemeanor (with up to four months of incarceration).

Size Regulations

The legal dimensions of a truck are defined in A.R.S. 28-1093, A.R.S. 28-1094, and A.R.S. 10-1095.

The maximum width from the outside of one wheel and tire to the outside of the opposite wheel and tire shall not exceed eight feet six inches. The outside width of the body of the vehicle or the load on the vehicle shall not exceed eight feet.

Without a permit, a vehicle unladen or with a load shall not exceed a height of thirteen feet six inches above the level surface on which the vehicle stands. If a permit is obtained, such a vehicle may not exceed fourteen feet above the level surface on which a vehicle stands.

A truck-semitrailer combination shall not exceed an overall length of sixty-five feet.

Logbook Requirements

As established in the Code of Federal Regulations 395.5, each CDL driver must record the driver’s duty status for each 24-hour period. This includes information such as any change in duty status, daily miles driven, driver certification, and total hours driven.

Violations occur when duty status is falsely reported or when the on-board recording device is tampered with in any way by any person.

In Arizona, violations are subject to a civil traffic violation pursuant to A.R.S. 28-5240. The driver can be fined up to $500.

Maximum Speed Regulations

According to A.R.S. 28-709, CDL truck drivers may not exceed 65 miles per hour. A violation can result in a civil offense.

Port of Entry Requirements

CDL drivers are often required to stop at ports of entry in Arizona, as described in A.R.S. 28-369. These ports of entry ensure that traffic entering the state is compliant with all traffic and permit laws.

Failing to stop as required at a port of entry in this state is a class 1 misdemeanor, a criminal offense that can result in incarceration of up to six months.

Hours of Service Rules

Federal law sets limits on how long a CDL driver can drive within a certain period of time. According to CFR 395.3, commercial drivers may not drive after a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on-duty following 10 consecutive hours off-duty, and may only drive a total of 11 hours during this period.

Additionally, drivers may not drive if more than 8 hours of driving time has passed without at least a consecutive 30-minute interruption in driving status.

In Arizona, violations are subject to a civil traffic violation pursuant to A.R.S. 28-5240. The driver can be fined up to $500.

The Compliance, Safety, and Accountability Points Program

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created a Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) program to organize safety-based roadside violations, or “BASICs,” defined as:

  • Unsafe Driving
  • Crash Indicator
  • Hours-of-Service Compliance
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Controlled Substance/Alcohol
  • Hazardous Materials Compliance
  • Driver Fitness

Carriers will accrue points from 1 to 10 for every violation through the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System, with ten indicating the most serious offense. These points allow carriers to be grouped into different percentile ranges. Those within a high enough threshold will be identified for FMCSA intervention.

Commercial drivers who are found to be noncompliant with laws and regulations will cause their employer’s to have increased CSA scores, which can result in their carrier taking disciplinary action against them.


If you have been charged with a criminal trucking or commercial driving violation, call Rideout Law Group today.


With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.






Scroll to Top
This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.