On March 17, 2016, tractor-trailer driver Jason L. Flynn made an illegal turn across traffic, causing an accident that left a passenger car wedged underneath his trailer and its driver in the hospital.

That incident led to the discovery of a host of violations. 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.

The icing on the cake: Flynn was found to be in violation of multiple federal hours-of-service regulations, which are designed to prevent fatigued driving.

A hazard to public safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Flynn, who is licensed in Tennessee, to be an imminent hazard to public safety. He is under orders to not operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. 

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.”

Possible penalties

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 could result in action by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for equitable relief and punitive damages.

If Flynn violates the order, he could face criminal charges and civil penalties of up to $3,100.