California trucker declared imminent hazard to public safety

Driver tested positive for drugs multiple times

Posted February 23, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared a California-licensed truck driver to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. He was served the federal order on February 9, 2016.

In May 2015, an FMCSA investigation revealed that the commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder was medically unqualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. During the investigation, it was found that he had tested positive for the use of prohibited controlled substances, amphetamines, or methamphetamines on three separate occasions since 2012. Additionally, the results of a test that was still pending during the investigation received by the carrier on May 12, 2015, subsequently was positive for methamphetamines.

In June 2015, the driver was disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce by order of FMCSA.

Since his first positive controlled substances test in 2012, the driver has been evaluated by multiple substance abuse professionals; however, he failed to comply with the follow-up testing requirements and he failed to obtain a certificate of completion from any substance abuse program provider.

On January 8, 2016, the driver lost control of the commercial vehicle he was operating resulting in the vehicle leaving the highway, striking a concrete barrier, and overturning as it was reentering the roadway. The driver was cited by local law enforcement officers for failing to maintain control of his vehicle.

Following the crash, the driver was instructed by his employer to undergo drug and alcohol testing and was provided with the address of a facility. He failed to report to this facility and has refused to submit to a post-crash drug and alcohol test.

Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order by a CDL holder may result in civil penalties of not less than $2,750 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than 180 days for a first offense. A second offense may result in civil penalties of not less than $5,500 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than two years.

Failure to comply with the provisions of the imminent hazard out-of-service order may also result in criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


 

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