§383.37 Employer responsibilities.
§383.37(a) does not allow employers to knowingly use a driver whose license has been suspended, revoked or canceled. Do motor carriers have latitude in their resulting actions: firing, suspension, layoff, authorized use of unused vacation time during suspension duration, transfer to non driving position for duration of the suspension?
Guidance: Yes. The employer’s minimum responsibility is to prohibit operation of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) by such an employee.
a. A motor carrier recently found a driver who had a detectable presence of alcohol, placed him off-duty in accordance with §392.5, and ordered a blood test which disclosed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent. Is the carrier obligated to place the driver out of service for 24 hours as prescribed by §392.5(c)?
b. Is the carrier obligated to disqualify the driver for a period of one year as prescribed by §§383.51(b) and 391.15(c)(3)(i) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)?
Guidance: a. Only a State or Federal official can place a driver out of service. Instead, the carrier is obligated to place the driver off-duty and prevent him/her from operating or being in control of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) until he/she is no longer in violation of §392.5.
b. No. A motor carrier has no authority to disqualify a driver. Disqualification for such an offense only occurs upon a conviction.
If an individual driver had two convictions for serious traffic violations while driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV), and neither Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) nor his/her State licensing agency took any disqualification action, does the motor carrier have any obligation under FHWA regulations to refrain from using this driver for 60 days? If so, when does that time period begin?
Guidance: No. Only the State or the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has the authority to take a disqualification action against a driver. The motor carrier’s responsibility under §383.37(a) to refrain from using the driver begins when it learns of the disqualification action and continues until the disqualification period set by the State or the FHWA is completed.
Is a driver who has a CDL, and has been convicted of a felony, disqualified from operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)?
Guidance: Not necessarily. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) do not prohibit a driver who has been convicted of a felony, such as drug dealing, from operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) unless the offense involved the use of a CMV. If the offense involved a non-CMV, or was unrelated to motor vehicles, there is no FMCSR prohibition to employment of the person as a driver.