Beer In The Sleeper

Topic 9800 | Page 1

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Eric L.'s Comment
member avatar

Is is against federal law to have an open alcoholic drink in the sleeper while off duty?

I am not asking for opinions. I know it's a bad idea.

I'm not asking for company policy. My company has zero tolerance for it.

I'm not asking for bac levels while on duty; I'm not even asking for bac levels. I know all the levels.

I just want to know is the act of having an open beer in the sleeper illegal. I can't find a clear answer online or in the FMCSR

Fm:

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.
Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

The answer is that you can not have any alcohol open or unopened in a commercial motor vehicle , period. That is unless it is on the manifest. Not a very difficult rule to understand but people always try to see if they can find a way around it.

Manifest:

Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
Phox's Comment
member avatar

I think Pat's answer pretty much sums it up.

I can't understand why you would care at this point though if company you work for says no then what does it matter what the law is. in terms of things you can't have I believe company rules supersede any law, likewise in terms of things you CAN have, laws supersede company rules.

Even if it was allowed by law, getting caught could mean the end of your career, to many possible ways to get caught, it's just not worth it. If you really really really need to have a beer get out of your truck and drink it but even then stay within your company policies. Better yet find something that won't risk impairment, even one is enough to impair you and it only takes a little to make the difference between being a risk to others on the road or not, the hell with your own safety that's your business if you choose to risk it, but everyone else should not have to be involved with your choices unless they had the ability to make a difference on that choice.

so yeah that's my 2 cents on the subject.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Scott M's Comment
member avatar

Would like to hear your opinion.

Recently, at company sponsored schooling, a fellow student told me- "Was feeling stressed last night and I drank (liquor)". It was absolutely clear that anyone who drank was immediately terminated- of course we- over 95 of us were all students with learner permits- or working towards it. And because we were students we were actually kicked out of school.

Anyway, I decided not to turn him in. The guy was in younger 20s, was trying to better himself and was broke. I had told him about using the city bus for $1.25, and he said "didn't have the money and would use the free shuttle"

So my thinking was I hoped he would succeed and make a better life for himself.

Would you have turned him in?

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Not worth turning him in. In school, as well as at any company you will not hear "alcohol" or "booze" without hearing a very emphatic "No" in front of it. (If you're confused with this sentence, I'll clarify: "no alcohol " and "no booze")

Most companies don't even want to hear that you walked out of a liquor/package/party store with a paper sack and got into their truck!

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar

I can tell you for sure, NO ALCOHOL means NO ALCOHOL PERIOD.

I went through Prime's training program and know for a fact there were several folks in my training class and other classes behind me that were booted out of the program in the middle of the night during the orientation week for having had 1 drink against company policy during orientation. They had to find their own way to the bus stop and pay their own way home because they were being VERY STUPID. These companies do not play games when it comes to alcohol.

The premise behind this is if you can't follow simple rules, you have no business driving for us (meaning Prime).

I know of at least 1 veteran driver that just had to have a six pack, went across the highway to the QT truck stop from Prime & purchased a six pack. Was seen by another driver who called Prime. The safety director himself went over to QT, gave the driver an option, quit now on the spot or have it on your record & never drive for anyone again. The driver quit on the spot. So yes, these companies take this VERY SERIOUSLY.

Ernie

DaveDiesel's Comment
member avatar
The premise behind this is if you can't follow simple rules, you have no business driving for us (meaning Prime).

I think the above statement sums up the core issue.

Failure to follow simple instructions is no joke and can get people kllled in many lines of work.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

To answer the question specifically about it being against Federal laws, I'm not sure to be honest. But my guess would be that since you're in a commercial vehicle doing interstate commerce and you're transporting alcohol across state lines without a manifest for it then you would be infringing upon various Federal alcohol distribution laws.

If the FMCSA doesn't address it then the ATF and other Federal Bureaus certainly will.

Manifest:

Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Interstate Commerce:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Fm:

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.
The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

I interpreted the OP's question as something like this scenario:

Say you just stopped at Pilot for your 34-hour restart at 9pm on a Friday. You won't be driving again until at least 7am Sunday. You go inside and see that they have beer in the refrigerator. You grab a 40 and head back to your truck. You put it in the sleeper through the side door (not through the cab), go back there, turn on a movie and begin to sip away. You have over 30 hours for that beer to leave your system.

My guess is that this is still illegal, but my gut tells me that this is the kind of situation Eric had in mind when he asked his question.

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

We had a driver that had 2 unopened drinks in his cab and got busted for them. It was before I started here so I don't know what the fine was. Does not matter if it is cab or sleeper, you still can not have alcohol open or not in the the truck unless it is manifested and in the trailer.

Manifest:

Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.

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