OOIDA fights Minnesota fatigue program

May 18, 2009
A lawsuit filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is challenging a Minnesota State Patrol program used to declare truck drivers fatigued and place them out of service

A lawsuit filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is challenging a Minnesota State Patrol program used to declare truck drivers fatigued and place them out of service.

"We consider this program an outrageous abuse of police power and an intolerable violation of the civil and constitutional rights of professional truckers," said Jim Johnston, OOIDA's president. "We see no justification for this conduct either scientifically or in rational, legitimate law enforcement."

OOIDA filed its lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on behalf of truck drivers placed out of service and in some cases fined after being determined to be fatigued by the Minnesota State Patrol.

The legal challenge is being made on constitutional grounds, OOIDA said, namely the lack of due process plus warrantless search and seizure. The group said drivers were denied their rights to a hearing on the out-of-service orders and that the regulation under which the orders were issued fails both to define fatigue and to establish a standard under which a driver would know when to stop driving.

OOIDA is not only seeking an injunction that will stop Minnesota's fatigue enforcement procedures, but also compensatory and punitive damages.

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