2 alcohol arrests in 4 days place driver out of service

A Tennessee truck driver has been placed out of service for two alcohol-related arrests in a four-day period early last month.

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared Eric Ronald Scott to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Scott was served the federal order Jan. 18.

The FMCSA said that since receiving his commercial driver’s license on Oct. 26, 2016, Scott has been arrested in two separate alcohol-involved events. The FMCSA explains:

On the morning of Dec. 31, 2016, the Berlin, Vermont Police Department, in response for assistance at a local hotel parking lot, found Scott asleep in the cab of his tractor-trailer. Following a preliminary breath test that detected the presence of alcohol, Scott was arrested for domestic assault.

On Jan. 2, 2017, Scott was released from police custody. The following evening, the Berlin, Vermont, Police Department responded to a multi-vehicle crash that involved a tractor-trailer operated by Scott. According to the police report, while en route to Burlington, Vermont, with a final destination of Memphis, Tennessee, Scott jackknifed his tractor-trailer, striking a stop sign and causing three passenger vehicles to be forced off the road. An alcohol breath test conducted by police at the scene detected the presence of alcohol. Scott was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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 $3,100 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. Scott also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.