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Sunday, June 23, 2024

FMCSA Places Trucker on Ice for Drinking and Driving

A California truck driver was ordered out of service after police cited him for driving a truck despite having a blood alcohol content seven times above the legal limit.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared trucker Yakov Zaverukha to be an imminent hazard to public safety, and ordered him to cease operating any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. According to the agency, Zaverukha is facing charges of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, and has been convicted of similar charges on three previous occasions.

Zaverukha was stopped and cited by Illinois State Police while operating a large commercial truck on March 21, according to a release issued by the FMCSA on Monday. On that occasion, he was also cited for possession of an intoxicating beverage while on-duty or driving and for failing to retain driver logbooks for the previous seven day period – both immediate out-of-service violations. Zaverukha further received citations for the illegal transportation of alcohol and improper lane usage.

Zaverukha has previously been convicted twice in Connecticut of alcohol-related violations while operating a commercial motor vehicle and once in Massachusetts.

Per the FMCSA, on Nov. 2, 2012, Zaverukha was convicted by the state of Connecticut for refusing a breath alcohol test; his CDL was suspended for approximately eight months. Later, on Dec. 12, 2012, Zaverukha was again convicted in Connecticut for the same offence resulting in the suspension of his CDL for approximately 15 months.

In 2007, the state of Massachusetts convicted Zaverukha of multiple violations of driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs while operating a commercial motor vehicle. Following that conviction, Zaverukha’s CDL was suspended for approximately one year.

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states in part that his driving history “…demonstrates that Zaverukha is unwilling or unable to cease operating a commercial motor vehicle while using alcohol,” adding that his “…continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle…puts the motoring public at imminent risk for serious bodily injury or death if not discontinued immediately.” Zaverukha also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.

Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order by a CDL holder may result in civil penalties of not less than $2,750 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than 180 days for a first offence. A second offence may result in civil penalties of up to $5,500 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than two years. Failure to comply with the provisions of the imminent hazard out-of-service order may also result in criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.