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Ventura County Officials Scrutinize Driving RecordA truck driver who crashed into an Oxnard commuter train had a spotty driving record in his native Arizona.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 54-year-old Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez was cited for an unspecified traffic violation in Yuma in 2004, and he also received a ticket for failure to obey a traffic control device in 2007. Mr. Sanchez-Ramirez was also convicted of DUI and a few related charges in 1998, but these incidents are well over ten years old. Mr. Sanchez-Ramirez crashed his produce truck into a Metrolink train as it crossed Rice Avenue. Authorities apprehended him about a mile from the crash scene, and charged him with felony hit-and-run. Authorities speculate that drugs or alcohol may have been involved.

This is the second serious collision at the Rice Avenue crossing in the last year.

The federal government tracks seven Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories for commercial drivers in Fresno and elsewhere. Too many violations can take a driver off the road either directly, through license suspension, or indirectly, by increasing insurance premiums to the point that they are unaffordable.

There are a number of red flags that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration uses to set a driver's BASIC score. All 12 pertain to driver fitness, alcohol or controlled substance use and proper vehicle maintenance.

The FMCSA often uses the charged offense as opposed to the adjudicated offense. So, if you fail a maintenance inspection, remedy the problem and the judge dismisses the citation, it may still appear on your record. An attorney regularly practicing in Lamont and Shafter can help make sure that your BASIC score is accurate.

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