Federal authorities have ordered an Arkansas-licensed commercial truck driver to cease driving any commercial vehicles across state lines, calling him “an imminent hazard to public safety.”
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that it served truck driver Jeffery Scott Mitchell with an out-of-service order on Dec. 14, citing a record of serious “egregious violations,” including some concerning alcohol and drug use.
During five separate roadside safety inspections within the last nine months, Mr. Mitchell has been cited and taken into custody by law enforcement officers in Arizona, California, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee for being either under the influence of or possessing a Schedule I controlled substance, the FMCSA said.
The unannounced safety inspections also uncovered other violations. According to the FMCSA, authorities cited Mr. Mitchell for multiple violations of operating a commercial motor vehicle without a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL), several records-of-duty status violations, and one instance of failure to obey a traffic-control device.
“Your blatant and egregious violations of [federal safety regulations] and drug and alcohol regulations and ongoing and repeated disregard for the safety of the motoring public … substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and/or to the motoring public,” the FMCSA’s order to Mr. Mitchell stated.
Commercial truck drivers who fail to comply with the provisions of a federal imminent hazard out-of-service order may face civil penalties of up to $1,848 for each day they operate a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the order. If authorities find that a truck driver knowingly or willfully violated an out-of-service order, they may also impose criminal penalties.