Recently I was asked whether a truck driver could have unopened beer and alcohol in his truck. I took a look at the safety regulations and determined the driver could not. The regulation states:  

§ 392.5  Alcohol prohibition.  (a) No driver shall— (3) Be on duty or operate a commercial motor vehicle while the driver possesses wine …, beer …, or distilled spirits b) No motor carrier shall require or permit a driver to—(1) Violate any provision of paragraph (a) of this section

The rule is very clear, the driver can’t possess alcohol in the cab, whether opened or unopened. I performed the research on behalf of Nancy Jin, a writer for the Canadian Chinese News. The full text of Ms. Jin’s excellent article may be found HERE. The article is also pasted below in chinese and english: 

 

 

被罚的他是违章驾车,还是遭歧视?

大中公益网096.ca 2012年03月01日 19:10  来源:大中报记者南茜(Nancy Jin)   [ 加大字体 | 缩小字体 ]

Getting a ticket: a careless truck driver or a victim of discrimination?

 

 美国近年来强化货运安全法规,严厉打击违章行为,以提高道路安全和减少交通事故的发生。按照美国联邦汽车运输安全规程规定,大货司机不得在其拖车内携带任何啤酒,除非啤酒为其运货的一部分。 图片:CBC/Radio-Canada特允大中报使用。

2011年10月1日,安省持牌的商业运输大货司机赖国(化名)驾驶一辆Caravan Logistics公司的8万磅重牵引拖车抵达魁北克省和福特蒙州的边境,其目的地为美国福特蒙州。

On Oct. 1, 2011, a commercial vehicle of Caravan Logistics Inc. heading to Vermont U.S. arrived at the Quebec and Vermont border. Mr. Guo Lai (not his real name), a licensed commercial truck driver of Ontario, was sitting behind the wheel of the truck that was hauling an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer. 
 
作为一个经验丰富并且已多次经过美加边境的大货司机,赖没有想过这一次过境会有什么不同,即使当福特蒙州车辆管理局的边境检查员打开密封的拖车,翻出货柜箱内每一样东西进行仔细检查时,他仍然没有想过会有什么麻烦。
 As an experienced truck driver who had crossed the U.S. Canadian border many times, Lai didn’t expect that this time would be any different, not even when a border inspector from the Vermont Motor Vehicles Department opened the sealed trailer, and checked everything from inside out. 
 
没有什么好让他紧张的。毕竟他的大货车上没有携带任何毒品,他的血液没有酒精含量。即便赖曾将剩下的5瓶啤酒放在货车上的午餐冰箱里,他相信一名毒酒不沾的司机没有违反任何法律。
Nothing could give him the jitters. After all, his truck carried no drugs and he wasn’t under the influence of alcohol.  A clean and sober driver wasn’t breaking any law, thought Lai, even though he was aware that there were five bottles of beer left in his lunch freezer in the tractor.
 
据赖称,这些啤酒是在边境免税商店里买的,价格非常便宜,他买啤酒的目的是为带给朋友和亲戚,或准备晚上喝。
The beers were bought at the border duty free shop at a much discounted price for his friends and relatives and his own consumption at night, according to Lai.
 
但检查员怀疑赖在开车时已经喝掉6瓶装中的一瓶,要求对他进行酒精测试。但通过了酒精测试的赖仍受到检查员出具的告票和驾驶员检查报告,并命令他停运24小时。赖对此举深感震惊和不解。
The officer suspected that Lai consumed one bottle from a six-pack while driving and ordered a body alcohol test. Although Lai was cleared by the test, the officer still handed him a ticket and a Driver Examination Report and ordered him out of service for 24 hours. Lai was stunned. 
 
该报告称,赖因“在驾驶商用车时带有5瓶啤酒”而违反了美国联邦毒品和酒精法规。赖简直不敢相信眼前的一切。他知道酒后驾驶属于刑事犯罪,将会收到告票和罚款。但是携带未开封的瓶装啤酒何罪之有?
The report cited the U.S. federal drug and alcohol violations for “possessing 5 bottles of beer while operating a commercial vehicle”.  Lai couldn’t believe it.  He understood that driving under the influence is a criminal offense and would be issued a ticket and fine. But carrying unopened bottles of beer? 
 
震惊之余,赖匆匆地估算了一下,除了告票罚款$100元,停运令还会给他造成另外$300损失。他这一趟本来应该能赚上$1000元一个星期的长途,而这么一来他只能拿回家$600元。
The mind-boggled Lai did a quick estimate. In addition to the $100 ticket, he would lose another $300 for the “out of service” order, which means he could only bring back home $600 for a week long haul that should have brought $1000 into his pocket. 
 
但是时间和利润损失与后来发生的事件相比根本算不了什么。当赖告知其雇主所收到的告票后,公司立即将其解雇,并表示公司“对与酒精类违规持零容忍政策”。
But it turned out that the loss of time and profit wasn’t the worst part of the ordeal. When Lai notified his employer about the ticket, he was fired right on the spot. The company told him that “there was zero tolerance for the alcohol related offense.”
 
但无法理解为何区区小事会引来如此横祸的赖称:“我没有酗酒……我根本没有喝酒。”
“I wasn’t abusing alcohol… I wasn’t drinking,” said Lai, who couldn’t understand why such a small incident would turn into so big problem.
 
赖向《大中报》表示:“这张告票是公司解雇我的借口,因为我此前曾拒绝过他们的不合理运货工作单,我认为边检警员和公司雇主待我不公,使我遭到种族歧视。”
“This ticket was used as an excuse for the company to fire me, just because I had refused their unreasonable work orders before,” Lai told Chinese News. “I believe that I was unfairly treated, and racially discriminated against, by both the police officer and my employer at Caravan.”
 
严格的大货安全法规
Stringent truck safety regulations
 
赖驾驶的牵引拖车在内的商业运输大货重量超过8万磅,这类大货在致命交通事故中占很高比例。由于小型车辆和大货在重量上悬殊甚大,因此一旦小型车辆和大大货发生相撞,小车乘客的处境则非常危险。
Commercial trucks – including the tractor-trailer that Mr. Lai was operating – can weigh over 80,000 pounds and account for a very high percentage of traffic deaths.  Due to the huge weight gap between passenger vehicles and large trucks, people in a passenger vehicle are extremely vulnerable when their car and a large truck collide. 
 
据统计数据显示,大货发生致命车祸的比率比道路上所有车辆的比率高出50%以上。2004年,美国有12%的致命车祸涉及大货,其中有77%的死者是小车乘客。与大货相关的年车祸死亡人数与26起大型飞机坠毁死亡人数相当,而涉及大货车祸的年损失额超过$190亿元。
According to stats, the fatal crash rate for large trucks is over 50% greater than the rate for all vehicles on the road. In 2004, 12% of traffic fatalities in the U.S. involved big trucks, among which, 77% were in passenger vehicles.  The annual death toll from truck-related crashes is the equivalent of 26 major airplane crashes, and each year the price tag of large truck crashes is over $19 billion.
 
很显然,酗酒是致命交通事故的主要元凶之一。研究发现,酒后驾驶会令大货车祸的风险增加2至6倍。
Apparently, alcohol abuse is one of the major culprits for fatal traffic accidents. Studies have found that driving under the influence can increase the risk of truck crashes from two to 6 times. 
 
如果赖在酒后驾驶80,000磅重的大货,也就和他酒后驾驶一架飞机没有差别。
So if Mr. Lai was drunk while operating his 80,000-pound vehicle, it would be basically no different than he was driving an airplane drunk. 
 
由于酒后驾驶的大货司机可能导致的严重后果,美加两国都采用更严格的法规控制大货司机吸食毒品和饮酒。在一般情况下,货车司机的血液酒精含量上限为0.04%,与之相比,客车司机的血液酒精含量上限为0.08%。
Resulting from the severe safety risks imposed by impaired truck drivers, more rigorous regulations to control truck drivers’ drug and alcohol consumption are in place on both sides of the border. In general, the blood alcohol limit for a tractor-trailer driver is 0.04%, compared with 0.08% for passenger car drivers.
 
美国近年来强化货运安全法规,严厉打击违章行为,以提高道路安全和减少交通事故的发生。按照美国联邦汽车运输安全规程规定,大货司机不得在其拖车内携带任何啤酒,除非啤酒为其运货的一部分。
The U.S. has taken measures in recent years to tighten trucking regulations and crack down on violations to increase road safety and reduce accidents. In the U.S., the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards — stipulate that a truck driver shall not possess any beer in its tractor-trailer, unless the beer is part of the shipment. 
 
但是,许多大货司机仍然对毒品和酒精法规熟视无睹。
However, many truck drivers turn a blind eye to drug and alcohol regulations.
 
因为赖违章而将其解雇的Caravan Logistics公司的主管Greg Coughlin表示:“许多司机听信在大货车服务站传播的信息并受其误导……虽然法律清楚规定不允许在大货内任何部位携带啤酒,但是他们仍然认为可以将啤酒放置于驾驶室……那也就是为什么我们会遭遇几起司机违章的原因。”
“Many drivers are confused and misled by what they heard from other truck drivers at the truck stop… While the law clearly says no beers are allowed anywhere inside the vehicle, they thought that they can keep them in the cab… That is why we ended up with a number of violations among our drivers,” said Greg Coughlin, Director of Caravan Logistics, the company that fired Lai for his offense.
 
美国田纳西州著名的大货司机诉讼律师Morgan G. Adams表示:“据我们了解,一些司机不重视道路安全法规……他们虽能何驾驶商业运输拖车,但是他们并不愿意去学习机动车安全规则,因此他们常常会违章。”Adams还通过https://www.truckinjurylawyerblog.com网上博客对大货司机进行安全法规的教育。
“What we’ve seen is that drivers don’t pay attention to road safety regulations… They know how to drive a commercial tractor-trailer, but they don’t bother to learn motor vehicle safety rules. As a result, they commit violations frequently,” said Morgan G. Adams, a prestigious truck drivers’ litigation lawyer in Tennessee, who also blogs on TruckInjuryLawyerBlog.com to educate truck drivers on safety regulations.
 
违章的影响
Impact of the offense
 
Adams告诉《大中报》,赖的违规行为会影响到公司的安全评分。
Adams told Chinese News that Dai’s offense could result in the company’s safety rating being downgraded. 
 
在联邦汽车运输安全管理局的安全措施系统中,Caravan Logistics公司一直保持着出色的2.7%非安全驾驶记录,但是该公司在管制品和酒精一项的评分记录却高达34.4%。在过去两年中,因两名司机分别的同类违章行为,即在货车上携带啤酒而使公司评分记录飚升。
Caravan Logistics Inc. has maintained an excellent 2.7% unsafe driving rating record with the Safety Measure System of the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCFA), but it received a 34.4% high rating on controlled substances and alcohol, resulting from the two same violations – possessing beers in the tractor-trailer, within the past two years. 
 
Coughlin向《大中报》表示:“他(赖)的这次违章是影响我们公司的毒品和酒精记录的两次违章行为之一。”
“His (Mr. Lai’s) offense was one of the two violations that have affected our company’s drug and alcohol record,” Coughlin told Chinese News. 
 
据Coughlin介绍,毒品和酒精评级记录是物流公司潜在客户最关注的记录之一,较高的毒品酒精评分更会使潜在客户担心因司机的酒后驾驶而被迫承担法律责任,因此相比之下,该记录的斑点会比任何其他记录,例如汽车维护记录等更能让潜在客户望而却步。
In fact, the drug and alcohol rating is a top concern among potential customers of logistics companies. A high drug and alcohol rating, more than any other ratings – such as vehicle maintenance rating — can turn a potential customer away, as a prospective customer would see the high rating as an increased risk of liability from impaired driving, according to Coughlin. 
 
“在去年的圣诞节期间,我花了整整45分钟向我们的潜在新客户福特汽车公司解释这两次违章行为……我告诉他们,为了保持我们的安全记录,这两名司机都已经被解雇。”
“In Christmas last year, I had to spend 45 minutes explaining to a Ford Motor company – our potential new customer — as to how we ended up with the two offenses… I told them that to maintain our safety record, both drivers would no longer work with us.”
 
Coughlin表示,解雇赖的决定是根据公司的安全合规政策而做出,该决定与种族歧视无关。
Coughlin stated that the company’s decision to terminate Lai was made in accordance with the company’s safety compliance policy and that racial discrimination has no bearing on the decision. 
 
Coughlin表示:“公司必须遵守安全政策,否则公司无法生存。我们对酗酒违章制定零容忍政策。如果酒后驾驶造成人员死亡或重伤,相关的法律诉讼可能导致我们公司破产。而这突如其来的后果会让我们的280名员工失业,无处上班。”
“The company must abide by the safety policies or we are out of business. We have zero tolerance on alcohol violations,” said Coughlin, “If someone gets killed or injured severely resulting from the impaired driving, a lawsuit could put our company out of business. And all of a sudden, our 280 employees would be out of a job and don’t have a place to work.  
 
Coughlin称:“这一违章行为给公司造成的影响比司机所想像的严重的多。”
“The offense seems to have brought a much more severe impact on us than the driver assumes, “ said Coughlin.
 
告票挽救生命
Tickets save lives
 
被Caravan公司解雇后,目前已在另一家公司找到了工作的赖仍显示出其对安全法规的无知并坚称自己清白。他表示:“我没有喝酒,没喝就是没喝。只要开车时没有喝酒,司机在大货里携带啤酒有什么错?如果我的车上带着一把刀,我难道会用它去杀人么?”
Meanwhile Lai, who has landed a job with another company after Caravan fired him, shows his ignorance towards road regulations and maintains his innocence. “I didn’t drink it, period. What is wrong with drivers carrying beers in the truck, so long as they don’t drink them while on the road? If I carry a knife in my cab, would I use it to kill anyone?”
 
赖透露说,他在安省交通厅的安全记录并不太好。“法律规定是一回事,如何执行是另一回事。法律规定你必须在每一个停牌前停车,但是有多少人想都没想闯过去?”
Revealing that he had a tainted driving record with the Ministry of Transportation, Lai continued, “What the law says in one thing, how to enforce it is another. The law says you have to stop at every stop sign, but how many of us drive through it without thinking about it?” 
 
但轻度违章会酿成大错,一旦大祸临头就为时晚矣。而一次独闯停牌就导致了10名秘鲁移民工人丧命,不尊重法律的大货司机也可能会将其货车变成80,000磅重的杀人机器。
Not until catastrophe strikes and turns a minor offense into fatal one. As driving through a stop sign has killed 10 Peru migrant workers, truck drivers who show disrespect for the law might as well turn a tractor-trailer into an 80,000-pound killing machine.
 
赖还指控边检员在履行其工作职责时玩忽职守,没收了他的啤酒以自我享用。
Lai also alleges that the officer was negligent in carrying out his job duty and confiscated the beers for his personal enjoyment.
 
而这位很可能救了赖或他人生命的边检员实为冤枉。事实上,告票具有安全保护效应。研究显示,在致命车祸发生前一个月的告票数量往往少于车祸发生一年前的告票数字。
Pity the poor officer, who might have saved Lai’s life, or the life of someone else. In fact, getting a ticket brings safety and protective effect, as studies indicate that there were fewer tickets in the month before a fatal accident than a year before.
 

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