Terminated For Drinking

Topic 21889 | Page 1

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Sidney B.'s Comment
member avatar

I was driving for swift and i was on my 34 hr reset and was at a TA and there was a little bar next door i went and had a few beers and another driver called me in and my DM called me and asked me if i had any alcohol and i told her i had one beer and a shot with my meal and she asked how long after i left the bar was it before i returned to my truck i told her i washed some clothes so it was at least two or three hours and she said DOT says i have to wait for 4 hrs before i return to my truck so that being said i was terminated and was told i can't drive a CMV untill i take a drug and alcohol class is that true or are they just telling me this

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I'm not sure about the length of time before you return to your truck, but I do know that you cannot drive until at least 8 hours later and I don't believe any alcohol is allowed at all in a CMV... my company's policy is at least 12 hours later and no alcohol allowed at all unless you are at home on home time or at our annual awards/gala. At the annual gala they do serve alcohol (2 drinks) on Saturday evening and all attendees must have their trucks parked at our Cedar Rapids terminal and we are not driving since the company pays for everyone's hotel that night and has a shuttle return us to our trucks late Sunday morning/noonish.

Most companies are very clear on their policies regarding consumption of alcohol and often they're more strict then the federal regulations.

Get a lawyer to fight it. You weren't caught by law enforcement consuming alcohol but you admitted to it to your employer while you had possession of a company owned commercial vehicle. (Bad bad bad) How would they know exactly how much time elapsed before you returned to your truck? According to your own story, you just gave a general timeframe. You will want to find out exactly what they reported on your DAC so you'll know how to proceed.

Good luck and keep us updated.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Drinking or drugs have no place with a CDL driver. Besides the very low limits to be DUI , it is illegal and against company policies to have any alcohol or drugs in your truck. That includes, closed, open and empty containers. I don't know about time away from the truck. And even if you had just started your 34, what if there was an emergency and you had to move your truck? You may have just put a huge obstacle in the path of your truck driving career. Good luck.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Wolding's policy is your not allowed on/in company property within 24 hrs of consuming alcohol. That includes their truck.

The skinny of it, is save drinking for when you are on hometime. If you can't wait to have a drink until that time, than there may be other issues to attend to.

Drive Safe and God Speed

Old School's Comment
member avatar
i was terminated and was told i can't drive a CMV untill i take a drug and alcohol class is that true or are they just telling me this

I think that you are going to find that whatever is on your DAC report concerning this matter will probably dictate that this is true. You made a huge blunder here, and you don't really seem to be willing to own up to it. I know that somewhere you were informed of the company policy on alcohol, and you chose to ignore it - that is where you really screwed up. By doing so, you pretty much gave them the opportunity to nail you on this violation. We'd love to hear how this plays out for you, it would help others in here to realize the importance of playing by the rules when you are playing this game. There are some serious rules we go by when operating a big rig, and they carry weighty consequences.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big T's Comment
member avatar

It is going to be difficult to say the least. Usually what Swift does is ban you from ever working for them again, but if you complete a substance abuse program (SAP) they will not put it on your DAC.

Swift's alcohol policy is you cannot be on/in their property within 12 hours of consuming ANY alcohol. They have a strict zero tolerance policy. Anything higher than 0.00 is grounds for termination.

If you want to consume alcohol on a 34 the truck has to be in a secure location and you need to be in a hotel or some other sleeping location. They do not consider a truck stop secure because if someone hits your truck.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Chuck 's Comment
member avatar

I know for a fact that DOT has no tolerance whatsoever for drugs and alcohol when driving or not and you can even get a DUI when your keys are in the ignition even if your vehicle isn't running. There are way too many accidents as it is without drugs or alcohol being added to the equation. Impairment starts with the first drink whether you feel impaired or not. Hopefully you learn from this and can earn your way back into a truck if you prove that you can not drink while with your truck even if it is for a 34 hour break. It's just too big of a risk in my opinion.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

Big T hit it straight on the head. Being a person that enjoys beer i found out the policy of 12 hrs pretty quick. So because of that i save it for hometime. Swift doesnt mess around when it comes to this.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Ouch, Sidney at least you were honest with Swift, I commend you for that. I love a cold beer as much as the next person but I never drink on the road. The dot rules as I am aware only address not driving for 8 hrs after consuming alcohol, and not having any in the truck that isn’t covered by a BOL. Company policy always trump gov’t rules.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Swift provides a drivers manual outlining all of their policies; including alcohol consumption. Perhaps if you had read it, this wouldn't have happened. These manuals are not window dressing, their meant to be read and understood.

The term "ignorance is bliss" doesn't apply for truck driving, especially as it pertains to alcohol and drugs.

Sorry this happened to you. Hopefully others will learn from your mistake.

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