WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Mexican-licensed commercial driver J. Rafael Arizaga-Tapia, also known as Nibardo Andrade-Mendoza, to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered him to immediately cease operating any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce in the U.S.
Arizaga-Tapia was served the Federal order on Feb. 4.
On June 24, 2021, Arizaga-Tapia was notified he tested positive for controlled substances. As a result of the positive test, Arizaga-Tapia was prohibited from performing any safety-sensitive function, including operating a commercial vehicle (CMV).
At the time of the positive test, Arizaga-Tapia held a valid LF license and a valid Washington State driver’s license.
FMCSA’s review of Arizaga-Tapia’s driving history for his LF and Washington driver’s license revealed prior offenses for speeding, driving under the influence and refused tests. His Washington driver’s license also has an ignition interlock device restriction.
After the positive test, Arizaga-Tapia obtained an LF under the name Nibardo Andrade-Mendoza. It is a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a CMV driver to have more than one driver’s license.
On or about Nov. 12, 2021, Arizaga-Tapia, using the name and LF of Nibardo Andrade-Mendoza, was operating a CMV on State Road 97 near Orondo, Washington.
The CMV he was operating failed to negotiate a curve, left the road, crashed through the guardrail, and fell into a ravine.
Arizaga-Tapia was in possession of opened and unopened beer cans, and subsequent blood tests showed a measurable alcohol concentration in his system. At the time of the crash, Arizaga-Tapia’s LF was still listed as prohibited in FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Arizaga-Tapia’s “blatant and egregious violations … and ongoing and repeated disregard for the safety of the motoring public demonstrated by these actions substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public.”
Failing to comply with the provisions of the Federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of not less than $3,268. Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties.
A copy of the imminent hazard order issued to Adversity Transport is available here.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.