The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared a Mitchell, South Dakota-based trucking company, Lonnie Roth, and separately its owner, Lonnie Roth, as a commercial driver, to be imminent hazards to public safety and ordered the company and the driver to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate commercial operations.
Alcohol, fatigue rule violations
In October 2014, FMCSA safety investigators completed a compliance investigation of the Lonnie Roth trucking company that resulted in an unsatisfactory safety rating. Serious violations of federal regulations were found during the investigation, including dispatching a driver known to have an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, failing to implement a random testing program of drivers for controlled substances and alcohol use, and failing to ensure that its drivers complied with federal hours-of-service regulations designed to prevent fatigue, including limitations on daily driving and maximum on-duty hours. A federal order requiring the company cease operations became effective December 28, 2014.
Under the influence
Separately, on December 5, 2014, Roth’s South Dakota-issued commercial driver’s license (CDL) was revoked by the state for having operated a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
In January 2015, on at least one occasion, Roth’s trucking company was found to have continued its commercial operations in violation of the federal shut-down order. Driver Roth was found to be operating a commercial motor vehicle without a valid CDL and while in violation of federal regulations on the consumption of alcohol prior to operating a commercial motor vehicle.
“FMCSA is working shoulder-to-shoulder with our state and local law partners to vigorously enforce commercial vehicle safety everywhere,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “It is unacceptable for a company or a commercial driver to disregard the law and jeopardize the safety of every traveler on our highways and roads.”