Whiff of pot leads to declaring driver an imminent hazard
March 11, 2021
•Land Line Staff
An inspector detecting the strong odor of marijuana during a roadside safety inspection has led to a Minnesota driver being declared an imminent hazard.
The driver also ignored an out-of-service order and had previous convictions for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, according to a news release.
Minnesota-licensed commercial driver Jordan Andrew Bane is prohibited from operating any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce because of the declaration. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s order was served on March 5.
During a Feb. 17 inspection in Fair Haven, Vt., a Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles officer smelled marijuana and asked permission to search the cab and sleeper berth of his tractor. Bane granted permission. The officer found multiple containers labeled to suggest they contained marijuana. A field test determined one of the containers had marijuana.
The officer also allegedly found an unlabeled pill bottle containing three kinds of pills. These were found to be Schedule II controlled substances for which Bane did not have a prescription.
In addition, the enforcement officer reportedly found two synthetic urine kits, one opened and used, and the other unopened. Synthetic urine kits are commonly used to avoid a positive controlled substances test, according to the FMSCA.
Bane was issued a citation for possession of a narcotic drug and was ordered out of service for 24 hours. Despite the out-of-service order, less than 24 hours later Bane was stopped by the same officer in Barre, Vt., which is about 2-hours from Fair Haven.
Bane previously had been twice convicted by the state of Minnesota for driving under the influence of alcohol and once convicted for driving under the influence of drugs.
Failing to comply with the provisions of the federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $1,895 for each violation. Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties.
Because of the imminent hazard declaration, Bane may not operate a commercial motor vehicle until he undergoes evaluation by a certified medical examiner and provides evidence he is qualified to return to driving duties. LL