Trucking and Drug Testing: Driver Declared a Hazard by FMCSA

200472283-001The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all trucking candidates to undergo a pre-employment drug screening. This helps ensure drivers are not operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance. This in turn assists in improving road safety for all drivers.

On September 13, 2016, Eddie D. Price, a commercial driver’s license holder, tested positive for methamphetamine. The following day, Price drove a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and collided with a pick-up truck. The accident severely injured the pick-up truck driver and passenger. Both had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Following the positive test, Price’s employer, Superior Service Transport, provided him with information for substance abuse professionals (SAP). They also provided details of the process required by federal law to return to commercial driving after a positive test. Price refused to comply and, as a result, Superior Service Transport ended his employment.

The following month, Price secured another driving position with a different company. He informed Superior Service Transport that he did not intend to inform his new employer of his positive methamphetamine test. He also planned to exclude Superior Service Transport on his employment history to hide the evidence of the positive test.

After learning of this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an imminent hazard out-of-service order to Price. The order states that Price is an imminent hazard to public safety for ignoring federal safety regulations, continuing to operate CMVs after testing positive for methamphetamine, and refusing to fulfill the terms of return-to-duty processes. Price may also face criminal charges and penalties.

Enforcing federal safety regulations is an absolute must to sustain a safe fleet. Fleet managers should familiarize themselves with the hazards of at-risk CMV drivers. Taking steps to improve driver safety can also help reduce insurance rates for commercial motor carriers. Contact Three Points Insurance to learn more ways to reduce insurance costs.