OOIDA challenging Minnesota out-of-service criteria

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is returning to court over out-of -service criteria against the Minnesota State Patrol and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

In April, the alliance adopted amended criteria for Minnesota and other jurisdictions that say out-of-service orders for fatigue can be issued based on reasonable articulable suspicion instead of the stricter standard of probable cause.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank will hear the association’s motion for an Order to Show Cause Sept. 21, the one-year anniversary of the Minnesota judge’s upholding of his previous order against the MSP. Last September, Frank ruled that the patrol’s OOSC violates truckers’ civil rights and his previous court order. That suit did not name CVSA as a party.

Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said the patrol was “aware of the motion and will respond in due course.” The alliance does not have comment at this point, said CVSA Executive Director Stephen Keppler.

Last September, Frank ruled that during inspection, troopers are to observe drivers for impairment resulting from fatigue or illness. However, they cannot expand the driver portion of the inspection to determine impairment without reasonable articulable suspicion of driver impairment.

Drivers will not be ordered OOS for fatigue without probable cause to believe the drivers’ fatigue or illness has made them an imminent public safety risk, he wrote.

The newest CVSA criteria states that when, based on reasonable suspicion, drivers are fatigued enough that they should not continue the trip, then they should be declared out-of-service until rested.

OOIDA has asked the court that CVSA and MSP defend why they should not be held in contempt for what the association said is a violation of the court’s ruling.

The court will continue jurisdiction of the issue until September 2013.