FMCSA Declares Idaho Truck Driver to be an Imminent Hazard to Public Safety
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Idaho-licensed truck driver Justin Dennis to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Dennis was served the federal order on November 18, 2016.
In January 2015, Dennis, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, was subject to a USDOT-required random controlled substances test; the verified test results were positive for methamphetamine, thus disqualifying Dennis from operating a CMV. Dennis was immediately terminated by his employer.
Federal safety regulations require that before a disqualified CDL-holder may be eligible for further testing and a possible return to operating a CMV, as an initial mandatory first step, the individual must report to a Substance Abuse Professional for evaluation. Dennis failed to initiate the process that would have allowed him to legally resume operating a CMV.
On November 9, 2016, while still disqualified, Dennis was operating a CMV on Interstate 84 in Boise, Idaho when his vehicle struck and killed an automobile driver who was standing near his disabled vehicle that had been involved in a single vehicle crash.
Dennis admitted to an FMCSA investigator that he had taken methamphetamines a few days prior to the November 9, 2016 crash. Investigators also found that at the time of the crash, Dennis had exceeded both driving and on-duty hour-of-service limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving.
Dennis further told investigators that he was texting while driving, shortly before the crash occurred.