Federal and state officials pulled more than 100 truck drivers off the road for drug and alcohol violations in a two-week investigative sweep. The drug and alcohol task force also levied charges on more than 175 companies.
That's a 42 percent increase in the number of truck and bus drivers put out of service from last year, when the first drug and alcohol task force put 77 drivers out of service and charged 84 companies with violating drug and alcohol rules.
"If you are a commercial driver or carrier operating in violation of federal drug and alcohol laws, we will remove you from our roadways," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The sweep took place in late June and involved Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration investigators and state truck and bus safety officials, FMCSA said. The investigators examined truck and bus company driver records.
Of the 109 drivers removed from service, 101 were truck drivers, FMCSA confirmed yesterday. Sixteen of those truckers had hazardous materials endorsements to their commercial driver's licenses, and four were driving a hazmat truck at the time.
The drivers face fines and the prospect of being barred from operating commercial vehicles. The 175 carriers cited could face fines and other penalties as well.
The drivers and companies may contest the alleged violations and penalties.
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com.