The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Georgia-licensed truck driver Christopher M. Speyrer to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Speyrer was served the federal order on March 10, 2017.
On October 16, 2016, Speyrer, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, placed an emergency call for medical assistance from his parked tractor-trailer located at a truck stop in Greenwood, Louisiana. En route to the nearby hospital, Spreyrer admitted to the ambulance personnel that he had been using a Schedule II controlled substance, which use is prohibited by federal safety regulations.
Speyrer further claimed to the ambulance staff that he had been using the same Schedule II controlled substance, and consequently, had not slept for the previous five days.
Speyrer, instead, continued to operate a tractor-trailer.
On November 20, 2016, while operating a truck along Interstate 64 in Henrico County, Virginia, Speyrer was responsible for a multi-vehicle chain-reaction crash when he struck the rear of a car that had stopped due to traffic conditions. A Virginia court subsequently found Speyrer guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol
FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Speyrer’s continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce “ … substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.”
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 $1,782 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.
Speyrer also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.