The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared New Mexico-licensed truck driver Bobby C. Cleveland to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Cleveland was served the federal orders May 4.
In a release the agency says on April 29 Cleveland was operating a 2,400-gallon propane tanker truck in McKinley County, N.M., when the vehicle overturned, resulting in the release of hazardous material and the temporary closure of Interstate 40. New Mexico Highway Patrol officers responding to the crash subsequently charged Cleveland with operating the vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating beverage. Published reports say police found empty containers of alcohol at the crash scene. The police investigation remains open.
“FMCSA inspectors and investigators are working shoulder-to-shoulder with our state and local law partners to vigorously enforce commercial vehicle safety regulations," said FMCSA administrator Anne Ferro. "It is unacceptable for a bus or trucking company, or any of its drivers, to disregard the law and put the safety of every traveler at risk.”
It is a violation of federal regulations to drive a truck or bus under the influence of alcohol. Truck and bus companies are required to perform drug and alcohol testing on new hires, drivers involved in significant crashes and whenever a supervisor suspects a driver of using drugs or alcohol while at work. FMCSA's imminent hazard out-of-service order for Cleveland is based upon his violation of federal safety regulations.