The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared a Mitchell, South Dakota-based trucking company and its owner-driver to be imminent hazards to public safety and ordered both to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate commercial operations.
The order against Lonnie Roth, the name of both the trucking company and the driver, comes after FMCSA investigators in October completed a compliance investigation of the carrier that resulted in an unsatisfactory safety rating.
According to the agency, serious violations of federal regulations were found during the investigation, including dispatching a driver known to have an alcohol concentration of 0.04% or greater, failing to implement a random testing program of drivers for controlled substances and alcohol use, and failing to ensure that its drivers complied with federal hours-of-service regulations designed to prevent fatigue, including limitations on daily driving and maximum on-duty hours.
A federal order requiring the company cease operations became effective Dec. 28
Separately, on Dec. 5, Roth’s South Dakota-issued commercial driver’s license was revoked by the state for having operated a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, according to the agency. In September 2014 Roth was arrested and later convicted of driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
In January 2015, on at least one occasion, Roth’s trucking company was found to have continued its commercial operations in violation of the federal shut-down order. Roth was found to be operating a commercial motor vehicle without a valid CDL and while in violation of federal regulations on the consumption of alcohol prior to operating a commercial motor vehicle.
In its out-of-service order FMCSA listed 22 remedial steps Roth and his company must take before either is permitted to resume operations.
Failure to comply with any provisions of the order can result in civil penalties of up to $25,000 for each offense, but if the violations are determined to be willful they can include up to a year in prison.
A copy of the out of service order is on the FMCSA website.