Questions about Interrupted 34-Hour Resets, Failed Drug Tests & More
Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of May 2013)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on April 14, 2013.
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34-HOUR RESET DURING DRUG TEST
Q: During a 34-hour reset, my leasing company required me to take a random drug test. I drove my personal vehicle to take the test. Since I had to log the test as “on-duty” per section 395.2(7), it interrupted my 34-hour reset. The company then sent me two violations for the 70-hour rule. Does section 395.1(B)(2) exempt me from the 70-hour rule violation? Did the company violate section 395.3 by requiring me to drive? Are there any exceptions for interrupting the 34-hour reset? Should I have restarted the 34-hour reset since the test interrupted the reset? Please help! – Charles in California
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: Failure of your employer to adequately plan for your test does not constitute an “emergency” for you. And yes, your employer would be in violation of 395.3 if they required you to drive your own vehicle to the testing site. All time, including travel to and from a random test, is considered “on-duty” time (395.2 definitions, paragraph 7 under “on-duty time”). However, if someone else drove you to and from the test, the 70-hour rule would not have been violated. A driver can perform work for a MC totaling 90 hours and not violate the 70-hour rule provided all work performed after the 70th hour did not involve driving. You should have restarted your 34-hour off-duty time. Generally, the 34-hour restart is already an exception to the regulations (395.3) and I’m not aware of an exception to that exception. Prior to implementation of the 34-hour restart rule, many drivers red-lined for being over hours were down two or more days before they were able to subtract hours to re-qualify (no hours to deduct from first two days of previous seven).
DEALING WITH A FAILED DRUG TEST
Q: Are there any companies that hire drivers with a failed drug test (over a year ago) or who don’t read DAC reports? Greg in Ohio
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: You’ll find the answer to your question in 49 CFR 391.23. Federal regulation requires that all motor carriers conduct investigations and inquiries with respect to each driver it intends to employ. As part of this investigation, the hiring motor carrier must contact a prospective driver’s previous employers to verify, among other things, if the driver has failed a drug/alcohol test. The hiring motor carrier must provide the previous employers with the driver’s written consent for the release of this information. However, if the driver refuses to provide this written consent, by regulation, the hiring motor carrier is prohibited from letting the driver operate any commercial motor vehicle, not just CDL vehicles. If you apply for a driving job but won’t give consent to the background check, the motor carrier can’t let you drive. If you can’t drive, they are not going to hire you. Simply put, if a prospective driver has failed a drug test or refuses to give consent to obtain that information, a motor carrier will not want to hire such a safety risk.
DRIVER USING TWO LOG BOOKS
Q: I’m about to start driving for a guy that just bought a truck to run grain containers. He has a DOT number but will be leased to and running under someone else’s authority. I’m being told that I have to keep a record of HOS under the local driver provisions and turn in two copies – one to the company and the other to the owner of the truck. I’m concerned about having two logbooks in the truck during an inspection. Any advice you could give me would be very greatly appreciated. Thanks – Curtis in Illinois
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: As long as both copies are identical, there should not be a concern. Where drivers run into problems is when more than one logbook is used or found and the multiple logbooks do not match each other. If I may offer you a suggestion, use a regular logbook and make one original and two copies (rather than one original and one copy) or use a separate logbook and make only one copy to submit to the owner of the truck.
~ The Ask The Law™ programs are an ongoing educational effort between Ol’ Blue, USA™ and commercial law enforcement agencies. Ol’ Blue, USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to highway safety education and to improving relations between the motoring public, law enforcement and commercial drivers. “Ask The Law” is a registered trademark of Ol’ Blue, USA. This column is copyrighted© by Ol’ Blue, USA. Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice. These interpretations were made on April 14, 2013.