A 33-year-old Ohio truck driver has been ordered off the road by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA issued the man with an out of service order on Oct. 28 because he has been charged with several drug violations and involved in numerous alcohol or drug-related accidents. The most serious accident took place on Sept. 28 when the man’s semi-tractor trailer crossed the center line on State Road 534 and struck a cargo van head-on. The van’s driver and passenger both died in the crash.
Following the truck accident, the man was cited for driving under the influence of one Schedule I and two non-prescribed Schedule II drugs. He was subsequently terminated by his employer for failing to submit to mandated toxicology testing within 32 hours of the crash.
The man was involved in another serious accident on Oct. 11 in Milton Township. The Ohio State Highway Patrol charged him with driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol after the passenger vehicle he was driving struck a tree after leaving the roadway and overturning. His passenger suffered injuries in the crash. Media reports reveal that the man has been taken into custody on at least 15 occasions since 2014 on charges including burglary, DUI and gun possession. The FMCSA states the man could also face civil penalties for ignoring commercial vehicle safety regulations.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may encourage drunk driving suspects to consider entering into a plea agreement when the evidence against them is strong and their alleged actions caused death or serious injury. The penalties in these situations can be severe, but prosecutors may be willing to reduce them substantially in return for a guilty plea. This is because prosecutors work under great pressure and know that juries can be unpredictable.