The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) declared a Wyoming-licensed commercial driver an “imminent hazard” to public safety for alcohol violations while driving a school bus.
The driver, David R. Williams, was served the federal order on March 16, which requires him to immediately cease operating any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate or intrastate commerce.
The order is tied to a Feb. 16 incident when Williams was driving a school bus transporting high school students from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Spearfish, South Dakota, for a school event. He was pulled over for a roadside inspection after a Wyoming Highway Patrol officer observed him following too close and failing to maintain lane control.
Failed sobriety test, breath test
After failing a field sobriety test, Williams submitted to a breath test, which showed an alcohol concentration of approximately 0.15%, well over the 0.04% threshold for a CMV driver.
In addition, in-vehicle video evidence showed Williams to be drinking alcohol both before and while transporting the students.
Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are subject to a variety of prohibitions on the use of alcohol prior to and while driving CMVs, including a prohibition on using any alcohol within four hours of driving and a prohibition on driving with an alcohol concentration of 0.04% or greater.
Prohibitions, possible charges
Williams is now listed as prohibited in FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and faces a number of possible criminal charges in Wyoming.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard disqualification order states that Williams’ “blatant violations of the FMCSRs and disregard for the safety of your school-age passengers and other highway users demonstrated by these actions substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public.”
Failing to comply with the provisions of the federal imminent hazard disqualification order may result in civil penalties of up to $5,902. Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties.
A copy of the imminent hazard disqualification order issued to David R. Williams is available here.