On Friday, the FMCSA announced it has placed driver Nebyou Brook out-of-service. The agency has ordered the driver to immediately cease operating a commercial vehicle, declaring Brook an imminent hazard to public safety following the discovery of alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs in Brook’s truck during three separate inspections.
The FMCSA ordered Brook– a driver for Apple Valley, Minnesota-based carrier Purpose Driven Services, LLC– out of service, following a February 5, 2013, inspection that led to the discovery of Brook’s blatant negligence in ignoring the drug, alcohol and HOS regulations.
“Safety is always our top priority, and should be the first priority of anyone operating a commercial vehicle,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. ‘Truck and bus companies and operators that violate federal safety standards and jeopardize public safety cannot be allowed to drive on our highways.”
FMCSA placed Brook out of service after investigators found serious safety concerns during four roadside inspections in which he had been cited for “egregious safety and traffic law violations while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV),” the FMCSA press release states.
Additionally, investigators discovered that Brook violated laws against driving a CMV in an erratic or unsafe manner and laws that prohibit the operation of a CMV while in possession of or consuming alcohol and controlled substances. Brook also violated hours-of-service regulations.
“A CMV driver’s blatant disregard for public safety will not be tolerated,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. ‘Our agency is committed to raising the bar for commercial vehicle and driver safety, and we will remain diligent in removing negligent carriers and drivers from the roads.”
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/IH-Order-Nebyou-Brook.pdf.
According to the order:
On or about March 2, 2012, a commercial motor vehicle (“CMV”) operated by BROOK for BK Trucking, Westerville, Ohio was inspected by Trooper Sean Shields of the Colorado State Patrol. Trooper Shields cited BROOK for violating 49 C.F.R. § 392.5A and placed him out of service. His report recorded,“driver consuming an intoxicating beverage within 4 hours before operating a motor vehicle.” Trooper Shields also cited violations of49 C.F.R. §§ 395.3 (11 and 14 hour driving violations) and 395.8 (records of duty status not current).
On September 11, 2012, while BROOK operated a CMV for TWA Express LLC of Saint Louis, Missouri, New Mexico State Inspector Jonathan Gonzales cited BROOK for violating 49 C.F.R. §§ 392.4A (possessing a controlled substance while on duty) – after Inspector Gonzales discovered marijuana in the cab and 392.5A (possessing an open container of alcoholic beverage). Both violations constituted grounds for placing BROOK out of service.
On October 19, 2012, Inspector G. Venne of the Wisconsin State Patrol cited BROOK for violating 49 C.F.R. § 395.8(t) (incomplete and not current records of duty status) while operating a CMV for Purpose Driven Services LLC, Apple Valley,Wisconsin.
Most recently, on February 5, 2013, Indiana State Police Inspector and Sergeant Wanda D. Clay responded to a call for assistance from the Gary, Indiana Police. Gary Police had stopped BROOK after he drove his CMV on the roadway, across a parking lot, and over concrete parking blocks. BROOK was placed under arrest after a field breathalyzer test indicated a .18 Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) result. Sergeant Clay conducted a level II inspection and recorded in her report that she encountered a strong odor of alcoholic beverage when she spoke with the driver. BROOK reportedly had a white substance around his lips. Five prescription bottles with the driver’s name were discovered behind the windshield visor. An open, partially consumed and still cold bottle o f beer was discovered behind the passenger seat. Brook was unable to tell Sergeant Clay or Gary Police where he was going and or coming from. He could not locate his logbook or the vehicle keys. BROOK could only answer that the keys were somewhere on or around the dash.