I had a problem back in ----------- .
First of all I am a Bedbuger, this means that I move people's household goods. I was Stopped by a Dot officer in ----------- for a level 3 Inspection. I passed everything except for the fact that my labor had a can of beer in his backpack. The Officer told me that I should have known so he put on my roadside inspection that I had alcohol in a commercial vehicle and now no one will hire me.
No. It is not legal for the driver to either consume alcohol within for hours of going on duty or have it within their vehicle at any time. As a result they are held directly accountable by the DOT regardless of whether they are at fault or not. It's not fair it just is. For more info read 392.5 Alcohol Prohibition
The situation above is interesting because it raises some interesting questions such as:
- If the driver is responsible for the alcohol found on his vehicle does he have the right to search through the property of all people riding on his vehicle including employees that are protected by employee rights?
- If the driver can prove the alcohol was no theirs do they have the right to demand some kind of re-determination?
- Should passengers on a regular commercial vehicle be treated in a similar way to passengers on a bus? If yes, could a driver demand the same right?
- Can the driver of a truck come after any hired labor on their vehicle for damages?
What can be done if a driver winds up in this situation?
After consulting with a couple of transportation lawyers who were very reluctant to comment on the subject; I managed to get this little piece information:
- No, what happened is not fair, but it does not happen often.
- The driver in this situation should most definitely hire a lawyer. This is not just for personal reputation and personal damages, but goes a long way to start finding a solution to the problem.
- Prevention is the key. Be very very careful about who you let on your truck.