TUCKER, Ga. -- A limousine service based in Tucker has been shut down by U.S. Department of Transportation investigators, who call the business "an imminent hazard to public safety."
The limo business's owner said the violations cited by the investigators are "minor," and he expects to be able to reopen soon.
U.S. DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is cracking down on limo services, nationwide.
FMCSA began investigating the Tucker business, Best Limo Service, in early April.
Late last week, FMCSA ordered Best Limo Service to cease all operations immediately.
FMCSA's written order declared that the business has kept few, if any, records on its drivers.
One limo driver "previously tested positive for controlled substances," but there was no record of any follow-up drug tests, according to the investigation.
Another employee was driving customers even though he had "a suspended commercial driver's license," said the report.
The report said Best Limo Service has no vehicle inspection program, among other, quote, "egregious" violations that, in total, constitute a "flagrant disregard for passenger safety."
The owner of Best Limo Service, Chan-Yeh "John" Lin, would not agree to an on-camera interview with 11Alive News, but said, by phone, "We need to be more diligent" in complying with the law. He said "a couple of drivers" who worked for him freelance, part-time, are the ones mentioned by investigators -- not his full-time drivers.
His company's website says, "All our drivers are professional, certified chauffeurs.... Our most prized assets are our chauffeurs who undergo background investigations...."
FMCSA investigators wrote, "Best Limo Service's compliance with driver qualification requirements is almost nonexistent."
Here's one way to check on a limo business's safety record, as compiled by the U.S. DOT:
It's an app from the DOT called SaferBus, available free for both Apple and Android products.
Type into the search window Best Limo Service, for example, and you'll see that, right now, it is "Not Allowed to Operate."
The order from FMCSA includes detailed instructions that Best Limo Service must follow and fulfill in order to reestablish its authorization to do business.
From the U.S. DOT website:
As part of FMCSA's work to make safety data readily available to the traveling public, the SaferBus mobile app gives bus riders a quick and free way to review a bus company's safety record before buying a ticket or booking group travel. The SaferBus app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android phone users, can be downloaded for free by visiting FMCSA's "Look Before You Book" webpage at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/saferbus.
Travelers planning a bus trip are also encouraged to think safety first before buying a ticket or chartering a bus by using FMCSA's multilingual passenger carrier safety checklist at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx.
FMCSA urges consumers and whistleblowers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT ( 1-888-368-7238 ) or FMCSA's consumer complaint web site: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/
FMCSA urges consumers As to bus companies that FMCSA has recently placed out of service, consumers who paid for their ticket by credit card may be entitled to a credit from their credit card company under the Fair Credit Billing Act. For more information visit http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/bus-credit-refund.aspx.