WASHINGTON — After receiving two citations for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in a span of just 12 days, Julio Perea Ayala, a Nevada-licensed commercial driver, has been declared to be an imminent hazard to public safety by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Ayala has been ordered not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce; he was served the federal order March 26.
Ayala was arrested by the Nevada Highway Patrol for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol while operating a commercial motor vehicle on two separate occasions, once March 5 and then again March 17. At the time of each incident, Ayala was also charged with having open containers of alcohol, and operating a vehicle with expired registration. The Nevada Highway Patrol impounded Ayala’s truck in each instance.
On March 5, Ayala was stopped for erratic driving; his blood alcohol content measured 0.337. Less than two weeks later, on March 17, Ayala was pulled over again; his blood alcohol content measured 0.282. Having an alcohol concentration of more than 0.04 while operating a commercial vehicle weighing more than 26,001 pounds and requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a violation of federal safety regulations.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Ayala’s “blatant and egregious violations of the [federal safety regulations] and disregard for the safety of the motoring public … substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and/or to the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.”
Failing to comply with the provisions of the federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $1,928 for each violation. Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties.
Ayala may not operate a commercial motor vehicle until such time as he successfully completes the statutorily required return-to-duty process overseen by a substance abuse professional.