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Out of Service Violations

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is an association of state and other officials responsible for the administration and enforcement of motor carrier safety laws. Florida became a member of CVSA through a Memorandum of Understanding. Florida agrees to implement the policies and procedures of the Alliance and to abide by the North American Uniform Driver Out of Service Criteria.

The North American Uniform Driver Out of Services Criteria, Policy statement, is referenced in §316.3025(2), Fla. Stat.. Section 316.3025(1), Fla. Stat., provides:

(a)... a driver declared out-of-service or removed from driving status pursuant to the North American Uniform Driver Out of Service Criteria must be... returned to driving status before being returned to service.

The North American Driver Out of Service Criteria, Policy Statement, Appendix A, Part 1, provides:

The purpose of this part is to identify driver violations that render the commercial motor vehicle operator unqualified to drive or out-of-service. The necessity for all enforcement personnel to implement and adhere to these standards is:

(1) a matter of law;

(2) perceived as necessary by the society we are charged with protecting, and

(3) a professional obligation if substantial enhancement in the safety of commercial motor vehicle operators is to be achieved.

OUT OF SERVICE VIOLATION: violations under this category preclude further operation of a commercial motor vehicle by its driver for a specified period of time, or, for some violations, until a required condition is met.

INSPECTION ITEM, OUT OF SERVICE CONDITION, ENFORCEMENT ACTION

7. Drugs and other substances as identified under Part 392.4(a).

(a) shall not be in possession

[inspection item]

is in possession (392.4)

[out-of-service condition]

out of service for 24 hours

[enforcement action]

Sections 316.3025(2) and (3)(b), Fla. Stat. provide:

(2) Any person who operates a commercial motor vehicle while he is declared out-of-service or removed from driving status... is subject to the imposition of a penalty as provided in 49 C.F.R., Section 383.53, in addition to any other penalties imposed against the person.

(3)(b) A civil penalty of $100.00 may be assessed for:

each violation of the North American Uniform Driver Out of Service Criteria.

Title 49, C.F.R., §383.53(a)(b)(c) provides for federal civil penalties for violation of an out-of-service order of $1,000.00 to $2,500.00.

Title 49, C.F.R., §392.4(a)(4) provides that no driver shall be on duty and possess, be under the influence of, or use...(4) Any other substance, to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle. If a driver does violate this section, he may be declared out-of-service for 24 hours. See North American Uniform Driver Out of Service Criteria, Policy Statement, Inspection Item 7(a).

The civil penalty is appropriate when a driver who has been declared out-of-service violates the out of service status or order by driving a commercial motor vehicle, or if his conduct constitutes a violation of the North American Driver Out of Service Criteria.

Some violations, such as being in possession of drugs, are "per se" violations of the Criteria or the Regulations for a driver of a commercial vehicle. The possession of drugs by a driver can result in the driver being declared out-of-service by D.O.T. for 24 hours. Moreover, if such person drives a commercial motor vehicle during that 24 hour out-of-service time period, he is subject to, among other things, a $100.00 civil penalty provided in §316.3025(1)(2)(3)(b)1., Fla. Stat., or a federal civil penalty under Title 49, C.F.R. §383.53.

Section 316.3025(5)(b), Fla. Stat. provides that the fines collected are to be credited to the State Transportation Trust Fund for use in repairing and maintaining roads in the State. So the courts have found that the civil penalty bears a rational relation to the public safety.

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