The feds are proposing a rule change to FINALLY allow commercial drivers to modify the MCMIS to reflect dismissals, acquittals, and reduced charges.

The proposal is a very small step forward in treating professional drivers with a bare minimum of decency and respect, but it does not go far enough. Providing the means for a driver to remove an untrue, unjustified, and sometimes vindictively issued stain against his/her record is only necessary because swift and unreviewed punishment precedes an opportunity to defend themselves.

The FMCSA has effectively turned justice on its head and empowered police on the street to summarily control and sometimes destroy the lives and livelihoods of drivers, as well as undermining the businesses for which the drivers work. Even assuming every officer is honest and conscientious, mistakes are common. 

Basing the entire reporting (and PUNITIVE) system upon mere accusation is horribly unfair and unjust, violating the critical protection we are supposed to have against government tyranny: “innocent unless proven guilty”. The burden of proof should always be on the government, yet the mere accusation by the lowest level government official can easily lead to drivers being immediately fired and possibly becoming effectively unemployable. I doubt employees of your agency would consider it fair for a consumer complaint to result in their immediate suspension without pay and/or firing without any recourse, outside of eventually prevailing in court, with no further recourse thereafter than to have his/her record cleared.

As it is, a driver must affirmatively prove his innocence, often many months later, to be afforded relief from summary punishment. Many times, the damage is already irrevocably done. The entire system is an affront to justice and should be changed. The convenience to the government to punish without an opportunity to be heard does not justify the violation of the right to due process.

Docket No. FMCSA-2013-045

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About Phillip W. Goff

I'm Phillip Goff, and I've been an attorney for over 20 years in South Texas. I'm passionate and dedicated to serving client's interests and promoting freedom.
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