Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
In May 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) declared a Pennsylvania-licensed commercial vehicle driver to be an “imminent hazard” to public safety and ordered him to immediately cease operating any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce.
According to a news release from the FMCSA, the driver submitted to a pre-employment control substance test while seeking employment in May 2020 and a Medical Review Officer (MRO) notified the driver that his test results had been verified as positive for marijuana and that he was prohibited from operating CMVs.
The driver was also referred to a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) for evaluation, education, and treatment pursuant to 49 CFR Part 40. However, the driver ignored the prohibition on his operation of CMVs and the requirement to undergo an SAP evaluation, and instead continued to drive in interstate commerce.
On one of these trips, the driver was placed out-of-service for possession of alcohol while operating a CMV. On another trip, he was placed out-of-service for possession of marijuana after a single-vehicle CMV crash. The driver is now listed as prohibited in FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard order stated that the driver “failed to exercise an appropriate duty of care to the motoring public while operating a CMV. Specifically, you ignored FMCSRs relating to alcohol and controlled substances use and possession, medical certification, and the safe operation of a CMV.”
The order issued to the driver also stated that “these violations and blatant disregard for the safety of the motoring public demonstrated by these actions substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.”
Failing to comply with the provisions of the Federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $2,072. Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties. A copy of the imminent hazard order – which was issued on May 13, 2022 – is available here.
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