South Dakota man's alcohol use leads to out-of-service order

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 2/4/2015

A South Dakota owner-operator and his one-man trucking company were deemed an imminent hazard and ordered out of service on Jan. 30. The driver was caught consuming alcohol soon after a previous order was issued for a similar offense, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Lonnie Roth of Mitchell, S.D., was arrested for driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol back in September 2014. A compliance review on Oct. 28 resulted in his receiving an “unsatisfactory” safety rating. Roth was convicted of the alcohol-related charges on Dec. 4, and his CDL was subsequently revoked effective Dec. 20.

As a result of the conviction, FMCSA issued an order to cease that went into effect on Dec. 28. The order was for Roth as well as Lonnie Roth, the company. The order stemmed from several violations, including using a driver with a known blood-alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater and driving past the 14th hour after coming on duty.

According to the order, Roth was found operating a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce on Jan. 26 by the Minnesota State Patrol, despite an order to cease and an invalid CDL. During the traffic stop, law enforcement issued Roth several citations, including speeding, consumption of alcohol and possessing alcohol while on duty or driving. Four days later, Roth received the imminent hazard order and was placed out of service.

In order to resume operating privileges, Roth must show compliance with Department of Transportation controlled substance and alcohol programs and regulations. In total, Roth must fulfill 22 points of action before FMCSA will reinstate his privileges, including:

  • Taking aggressive steps to control drivers’ hours of service;
  • Implement a dispatch system ensuring only drivers with necessary available hours are dispatched;
  • Ensure that all drivers complete all required records; and
  • Submit a plan to the Field Administrator demonstrating compliance.

FMCSA documents reveal that Roth was also involved in a single-vehicle crash on May 13, 2014. The Minnesota State Patrol cited Roth for failing to wear a seatbelt and inattentive driving.

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