A federal grand jury had issued an indictment for the owner of a Redding, California, facility that provides tractor-trailer and other commercial driver drug testing services. The 56-year-old woman is accused of falsifying drug test results for big rig drivers and billing clients for tests that were never performed. The owner of Advanced Substance Abuse Programs was charged with numerous counts of mail fraud and making false statements to a government agency. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison on the mail fraud charges and five years for the false statement allegations. In addition, the woman may be required to pay a $250,000 fine for each conviction.
According to United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, the charges were brought following an investigation by the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of Inspector General. He said the indictment demonstrates the DOT’s commitment to public safety. Wagner added that his office will prosecute all individuals who disregard DOT regulations in favor of personal gain.
Current regulations require that anyone who operates a commercial truck or other vehicle that requires a driver to obtain a commercial driver’s license submit to both pre-employment and random drug and alcohol tests. Drug tests monitor marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine, opiate, and phencyclidine use and may only be performed by laboratories that are certified by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The alleged actions of the woman indicted are alarming because drug and alcohol-related collisions are all too common in the State of New Mexico and across the rest of the nation. Sadly, everyone traveling on the roadways throughout our state is placed at risk of severe injury or worse when a drunk or drugged truck driver makes the choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Due to the sheer size and weight of semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles, such accidents are often deadly. Someone reportedly sustains a disabling injury in approximately one out of every 15 New Mexico 18-wheeler collisions and an individual is killed in one out of every 35.
Although criminal charges may be filed when a truck driver is accused of driving while impaired, a high or drunk driver may also be held financially responsible for any damages he or she caused. The victim in an accident that was caused by a drunk or drugged 18-wheeler driver may file a lawsuit to recover compensation for any medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages that resulted from the collision. If you were hurt in an accident with a drunk or high semi-truck driver, a quality New Mexico personal injury attorney can explain your right to recovery in greater detail.
Do not hesitate to contact the Fine Law Firm if you were injured or a treasured loved one was killed in a tractor-trailer crash anywhere in New Mexico. Our caring Belen truck accident lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience helping big rig crash victims across the State of New Mexico recover the damages they deserve based upon the severity of their injuries. To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation with a diligent advocate, please call the Fine Law Firm at (505) 889-3463 or contact us through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Report Claims CSA Truck Inspections in New Mexico and Across the Nation are Inconsistent, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, September 11, 2013
Inattentive or Negligent Semi Drivers Pose a Hazard in New Mexico and Across the U.S., New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, September 10, 2013
Drug-test lab owner charged with falsifying driver results, by Deborah Whistler, Fleet Owner
Photo credit: wallyir, morgueFile