On March 21 of this year, a commercial truck driver was stopped by Illinois State Police. The driver was eventually cited for driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of an intoxicating beverage while on duty or driving, and for failing to retain driver logbooks for the previous seven days. He was also cited for improper lane usage and for illegally transporting alcohol. The driver’s blood alcohol content was measured at .308. The legal limit for a person with a Commercial Drivers’ License is .04. Due to the driver’s previous record, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued an effective shutdown order for the driver.
For the driver, who operates his vehicle out of California, this was just the latest in a string of incidents involving drunk driving. His CDL was suspended in 2007 based on multiple DUI violations while he was driving his truck. He was convicted twice in 2012 for refusing to take a breath alcohol test. Each time, the citation came while he was operating his commercial truck. Each conviction led to a suspension of his CDL for a period of time.
The FMCSA shutdown order pointed out the danger posed by a driver who cannot or will not abstain from driving drunk. It based the order on the “imminent risk for serious bodily injury or death” faced by people sharing the road with this driver. Some might argue that this risk should have been eliminated earlier. With at least four prior convictions for alcohol-related driving offenses, it is reasonable to question why the driver was still licensed for this latest offense. Impaired truck drivers are a serious danger. They are responsible for numerous injuries and deaths on American roads every year.
Sources: Overdrive, “FMCSA shuts down Calif.-based driver after multiple DUI convictions,” by Overdrive Staff, 4 April 2016