The Government Working Hard to Keep Our Streets Safe

I’m glad we have the government watching over us and ensuring our safety. For example they’re suing a trucking company for allowing admitted alcoholics to drive trucks. Sorry I made a mistake, I meant to say the government is suing a trucking company because that company fired a known alcoholic:

The federal government has sued a major trucking company for its firing of driver with an admitted alcohol abuse problem.

Alcoholism is classified as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the suit maintains, and therefore employees cannot be prohibited even from driving 18 wheelers due to their histories of abuse.

The state’s justification for the lawsuit can be found here. Basically the government is pissed because the trucking company would dare permanently suspend somebody from driving one of the company’s trucks after it became known that the driver had an alcohol problem:

According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 2:11-CV-02153-PKH in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas), the driver at the Fort Smith location had worked for the company for five years without incident. In late June 2009, the employee reported to the company that he believed he had an alcohol problem. Under U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, the employer suspended the employee from his driving position and referred him for substance abuse counseling. However, the employer also informed the driver that the employer would never return him to a driving position, even upon the successful completion of a counseling program. During the investigation, the EEOC discovered drivers at other service centers whom the employer had allegedly subjected to similar treatment.

As an employer Old Dominion should have the right to determine who can and can’t represent the company and in what capacity. If Old Dominion doesn’t want to allow people with a history of alcohol abuse to operate one of their semis then they shouldn’t be required to. Personally I’d prohibit anybody with a history of alcohol abuse from driving one of my vehicles. It seems like an unnecessary liability to allow otherwise.

Let’s also look at this case from a different angle. The state has the capability to revoke drivers’ licenses at will and they often do for people who have been caught driving with an arbitrarily set percentage of alcohol in their system an arbitrary number of times. So even though the state is more than happen to prevent people with a history of alcoholism from driving private companies aren’t allowed to do something similar. I’m not surprised the government would make a move like this because the move makes no sense and making no sense is what government does best.