A Delaware truck driver is accused of driving while over the legal blood-alcohol limit and carrying an oversized load on northbound Interstate 89 in Vermont, according to a statement made by the state Department of Motor Vehicles on Friday.
Richard Charles Thompson of Delaware City was allegedly hauling part of a giant crane to a state bridge job when authorities at a weigh-in station found that the truck he was driving had a gross weight of nearly 154,000 pounds, when it was permitted for only 148,000.
Since the load weighed more than 80,000 pounds, the truck also required a special permit involving an engineering study to ensure it wouldn’t harm the state’s infrastructure. Thompson didn’t have the permit, officials said.
DMV inspector John Federico said that during the inspection, he detected intoxicants on Thompson’s breath. A test revealed the driver’s blood-alcohol content to be above 0.04 percent – the limit for commercial truck drivers.
Thompson told authorities he was drinking beers the night before but ceased at about 2 a.m.
A follow-up test at the Colchester police station showed Thompson below the 0.04 limit, but the DMV said that it had “sufficient evidence to relate back to impairment during the time of operation.” Thompson was handed a civil fine of $784.
The owner of the truck, a Philadelphia-based trucking company called Elliott-Lewis Corp., will be fined more than $13,000, according to the DMV. Company owner, Robert Sautter called the fine for the oversized load “excessive” and said the company would appeal it.
Sautter also said Thompson was terminated after the incident. “The driver made some serious mistakes, and he is no longer employed here.”