The following is an excert from our Trucking Jobs Forum. Drivers often have DOT questions and many times some of the best advice comes from other truck drivers. Please read below and if you have an opinion on this topic, please visit our Trucking Jobs forum.
I went to have breakfast with my boss and parked my truck at a
gas station with truck parking less than 2 miles from home. We
joked around with the DOT officer sitting in the restaurant.
Apparently he had no sense of humor and as I walked out of the
restaurant, he pointed for me to come over and asked if that was my
truck. I replied yes and told him I was off duty. He said he saw me
make an adjustment on my bosses truck and said that since I did
that I was no longer considered off duty..it was a favor for a
friend, nothing I got paid for.
He held me up for over 4 hours, ticketed me for not having my medical certificate with me..all my paperwork was home, however, I did find out on the NYS DOT site that if you haul from farm to market you do not have to have it on you, so that should be dropped. On my tickets, he put the nearest cross street as an address, not even the address of the gas station so it looks like he pulled me over on the road. Did he have the right to inspect me on private property like that while my truck was parked and I was not even in it? Is not having your medical card in possesion considered a misdemeanor or traffic violation?
I always went to the berth to do my paperwork. I am really not sure about your situation tho. If you were out of the truck off duty (sounds like you had your 4 wheeler there?) I would have just took my car and went to the house. Sounds like you might have rubbed him the wrong way. Chances are if you had not brought attention on yourself this may not have happened? I hope you are able to beat this though. Sounds like DOT took it personal and said I'll fix this guy! Good luck, hope it works out for you.
By CA law a vehicle parked or operated in a private parking facility that is open to the public is fair game for the police or DOT to cite for violations. It seems obivious hat the DOT was using the law to its exact meaning.
Section 12804 states it is a misdemeanor relating to a medical certificate.