According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), drivers or carriers who violate hours-of-service (HOS) rules can face serious penalties, including:
- Drivers being placed out of service (shut down) at roadsides until a driver has accumulated enough off-duty time to be back in compliance
- State and local enforcement officials assessing fines
- FMCSA levying civil penalties on the driver or carrier, ranging from $1,000 to $11,000 per violation depending on severity
- Downgrading the carrier's safety rating for a pattern of violations
- Bringing federal criminal penalties against carriers who knowingly and willfully allow or require HOS violations or drivers who knowingly and willfully violate the HOS regulations
There also are penalties for commercial driver's license holders and motor carriers, including:
- A driver convicted of violating an out-of-service order is subject to a civil penalty of no less than $2,500 for a first conviction and $5,000 for a second or subsequent conviction, as well as disqualification under §383.51(e).
- An employer convicted of violating an out-of-service order is subject to a civil penalty of no less than $2,750 and no more than $25,000.
- An employer convicted of violating a federal, state or local law or regulation pertaining to railroad-highway grade crossings is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $10,000.