S.D. driver declared imminent hazard for drug problems
April 3, 2019
•Land Line Staff
A South Dakota-licensed truck driver has been declared an imminent hazard to the public for repeated drug violations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration served the order March 27 on driver Clayton Virgil Hall. He is not allowed to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.
During a random U.S. DOT controlled substance test in January 2017, Hall tested positive for amphetamines, a Schedule II controlled substance for which he did not have a valid prescription. Federal safety regulations prohibit a commercial motor vehicle driver from being on-duty and possessing or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
During multiple follow-up controlled substances tests required as part of a return-to-duty program to regain his commercial driver’s license, Hall again tested positive for amphetamines for which he had no prescription.
To regain his CDL driving privileges, Hall was required to complete a return-to-duty program. The program involved multiple follow-up controlled substance tests. On multiple occasions, Hall again tested positive for amphetamines for which he had no valid prescription.
In May 2018, Hall told FMCSA he was no longer operating a commercial motor vehicle. Despite that, in July 2018 Hall was stopped in his tractor-trailer by police in Nebraska and was subsequently charged with one count of criminal attempt to possess cocaine and one count of criminal attempt to possess methamphetamine. Hall later pleaded no contest to both charges.
Despite failing multiple controlled substance follow-up tests and never fulfilling the return-to-duty substance abuse program as required by federal regulation, Hall continued to drive his tractor-trailer in interstate commerce as recently as March 2019.
“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 demonstrated by these actions substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public,” states the FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order to Hall.
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 $1,848 may be assessed for each day a commercial motor vehicle is operated in violation of the order. Knowing and/or willful violation of the order also may result in criminal penalties.
Hall also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.