Trucking News Online

FMCSA Orders Utah Truck Driver Off the Highways for Meth Use

October 17, 2016 By: Trucking News Staff Tags: Fleet Management, News, Regulations, Safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Utah-licensed truck driver Eddie D. Price to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

On Sept. 9, Price completed an USDOT-required pre-employment controlled substances test, the result of which was verified as positive for methamphetamine.

One day after the controlled substances test was confirmed as positive, Price operated a commercial motor vehicle in Utah and was involved in a crash with a pick-up truck. Both the driver and the passenger of the pick-up truck suffered severe injuries and were airlifted to a Salt Lake City-area hospital.

Following the crash, Price’s then-employer (Superior Service Transport) provided him with a list of substance abuse professionals  and information on the federally required return-to-duty process for positive-testing CDL holders. That included a required professional evaluation and the completion of a SAP-recommended education and/or treatment program.

Price refused to complete the mandatory return-to-duty process and, subsequently, Superior Service Transport terminated his employment.

On Oct. 4, Price told Superior Service Transport that he had found another driving position and wasn’t going to tell future employers about the positive test or include his former employer on employment applications.

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order said Price poses an imminent hazard to the motoring public. It also states that Price continued to “ignore the (federal safety regulations), including the prohibitions on operating a CMV after having tested positive for controlled substances and failing to comply with the mandatory return-to-duty process.”

Price also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.

Failure to comply with the provisions of a federal imminent hazard out-of-service order may result in action by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for equitable relief and punitive damages. Civil penalties of up to $1,782 may be assessed for each violation of operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the order. Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal penalties.