According to Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/15-112(a), police officers only need a reason to believe that a truck is overweight in order to pull over the driver and require them to submit to the weighing of their truck. The officer can use portable or stationary scales or, if not available, the officer can require that the vehicle be driven to the nearest available scale. If the driver refuses to stop and submit his vehicle and load to weighing or removes any part of the load prior to weighing, he will be charged with this offense and face fines. In such cases, the driver could also face charges of fleeing and eluding. CDL holders need to be careful to avoid any and all offenses due to the potential impact on their driving record, insurance and employment.
Overweight laws are put in place because of the potential damage to roadways caused by overweight commercial vehicles. Excessive weight on certain roadways, which are not built to sustain such weight, can cause wear and tear or major damage.
According to 625 ILCS 5/15-113, the amount of the fine for an overweight truck shall be calculated in accordance to the schedule below (note that additional court costs and surcharges are often added to the amount of the fine). Please note: overweight fines in the City of Chicago can be found under 9-72-080 of the Chicago Municipal Code.
If the truck is overweight by:
Up to 2,000 pounds, the ticket shall be $100.
Between 2001 and 2500 pounds, the ticket shall be $270.
Between 2501 to 3000 pounds, the ticket shall be $330.
Between 3001 to 3500 pounds, the ticket shall be $520.
Between 3501 to 4000 pounds, the ticket shall be $600.
Between 4001 to 4500 pounds, the ticket shall be $850.
Between 4501 to 5000 pounds, the ticket shall be $950.
If the truck is overweight by 5001 or more pounds, the ticket shall be $1500 for the first 5000 pounds over plus $150 for every additional 500 pounds over.
Overweight tickets in Illinois can be issued to truck drivers for failing to properly flag a wide load, operating a truck that is overweight on axle or overweight on gross for the permit carried. An overweight citation can also be issued for operating a truck that exceeds the weight limit for a specific portion of the roadway.
Many trucking companies assume overweight truck tickets are normal and unavoidable, so they treat them like any other cost of doing business and simply pay the fines. Experienced Illinois commercial trucking attorneys can help by negotiating a reduction of the fine or, under certain circumstances, challenging the violation at trial.
To find out your options, contact The Davis Law Group, P.C. by calling (847) 390-8500 or get in touch with us via our contact page. We represent CDL holders and trucking companies throughout Illinois including Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County.