FMCSA Declares Pennsylvania Commercial Vehicle Driver to be an Imminent Hazard
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Pennsylvania commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder Jasmine S. Smith to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered her not to operate any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Smith was served the federal order on April 3, 2018.
On November 3, 2017, Smith was arrested for driving-under-the-influence (DUI) after the school bus she was operating rear-ended another school bus before striking an automobile. Subsequently, on February 7, 2018, Smith was arraigned in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and charged with four second-offense DUI violations. At that time, Smith was also charged with one violation of possessing a Schedule 1 controlled substance and one violation of endangering the welfare of children.
Approximately two months earlier, in September 2017, Smith was found guilty in the Municipal Court of Philadelphia of two first-offense DUI violations.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Smith’s continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle “… 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 $1,811 may be assessed for each day that a commercial motor vehicle is operated in violation of the order. Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal penalties.
Smith also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for her violation of the Agency’s safety regulations.