At Platinum Drivers, we help truck drivers in Texas, Louisiana and Atlanta find jobs in the industry. However, there’s not much we can do if a driver is disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle according to the rules stated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Reasons for disqualification are specific and easy to understand, especially when the rules are made clear to drivers on the road.
The first and most obvious disqualification occurs if a driver loses their commercial license. If they can’t drive a truck by law, they are unemployable.
In addition, there are a variety of criminal offenses that, if violated on duty, automatically disqualify a driver from working. They cannot register a blood alcohol level over .04, or exceed the limit imposed by any state law. They also must comply with any state testing in the first place. In addition, drivers must not be under the influence or in possession of any Schedule 1 controlled substances, a federal designation which covers recreational, non-prescribed drugs with a high potential for damage and abuse. All amphetamines, narcotics, and derivatives of the two are also included in the rules. Leaving the scene of an accident or committing a felony involving a commercial vehicle are also grounds for disqualification.
These criminal offenses trigger a one-year disqualification, starting with either the date of conviction, or when the bond or collateral is paid. The only exception occurs with the possession of controlled substances, where the period is reduced to 6 months. Any time a driver is disqualified for the second time within 3 years, the period of disqualification itself is increased to 3 years.
Another reason for disqualification is when a driver violates an out-of-service order, which keeps them from driving vehicles that fail inspection until they’re properly repaired. The first offense triggers a suspension of 90 days to 1 year. If that driver violates an out-of-service order again within the next decade, they must be disqualified for 1 to 5 years. On a third offense within that same decade, a suspension of 3 to 5 years is imposed. Punishment is more severe if a driver is carrying hazardous materials or operating a vehicle capable of transporting 15 people.
A similar disqualification structure is devoted to drivers who violate mobile phone and texting rules, yet two offenses within 3 years are required for disqualification, which lasts for 60 days. A third offense within those 3 years carries a 120-day suspension.
The best way to keep yourself from being disqualified from working is to know these rules inside and out, and to continue to drive with caution and good judgment. At Platinum Drivers, safety is of the utmost importance. We pride ourselves on rewarding responsible truck drivers with great employment opportunities.