The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Tennessee-licensed truck driver Jason L. Flynn to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Flynn was served the federal order on April 21, 2016.
On March 17, 2016, while operating a combination tractor-trailer vehicle in North Georgia, Flynn made an illegal turn across traffic resulting in a crash with a passenger vehicle, which subsequently became wedged underneath the trailer, hospitalizing the driver.
Georgia State Patrol officers responding to the crash found an open box of beer and several open beer cans in Flynn’s truck cab. A field sobriety test detected the presence of alcohol.
The investigating officers also discovered in Flynn’s truck a bag of heroin, a syringe and needle, and several pills of the prescription medication Xanax wrapped in plastic and hidden under the seat.
It was further revealed that Flynn was in violation of multiple federal hours-of-service regulations, which are designed to prevent fatigued driving.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Flynn’s “…continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public.” Flynn also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.
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 $3,100 may be assessed for operation of a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the order. Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal charges.