False Logbook and Logbook-Related Violations

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There are four different logbook violations we commonly see:

1. No Logbook

This is exactly what it sounds like – A driver who is required to maintain a logbook but does not could be charged with a no logbook violation. See 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1).

2. No ELD – Electronic Logging Device

A “no ELD” violation is charged under the same statute as a no logbook violation, 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1). In summary, most drivers who are required to record their duty status under 395.8(a) must also use an electronic logging device. There are a few exceptions:

  • Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions are not required to use ELDs and may continue using timecards;
  • Drivers who use paper logs for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
  • Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is part of the shipment being delivered.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.

Even if a driver has an ELD, he could still be charged with a violation if the ELD is malfunctioning in some way, or if the driver is unable to transmit data from the ELD to the investigating officer.

3. False Report of Driver Duty Status

A false report of driver duty status occurs when what is recorded in the ELD or logbook does not match what really happened. There are two ways this can happen:

First, a driver could intentionally falsify a logbook entry. This is usually done when a driver believes he has violated the hours of service rules, and the driver does not want the logbook to reflect the hours of service vhiolation.

Second, a false logbook entry could also be the result of an innocent error. As you might imagine, if the error was innocent, and the driver has documentation to support what should have actually been entered, and the accurate information does not violate any hours of service rules, the chances for a favorable outcome are much better than with an intentional false entry.

A false logbook entry is a violation of 49 CFR 395.8(e)(1).

4. No Record of Duty Status

This violation would come up if a driver is required to have a logbook, but does not, or if the driver actually does have a logbook (or an ELD –  electronic logging device), but has not recorded his or her duty status in that logbook. In other words, there is a period of time where there is no data available when there should be.

When there is no data, an investigating officer is unable to determine whether or not the driver is complying with the hours of service rules.

49 CRF 395.8 requires a driver operating a commercial motor vehicle to record the driver’s duty status.

What Are The Penalties For A Logbook Violation Conviction?

Logbook-related violations are criminal violations according to A.R.S. 28-5240, which states:

A. In addition