Drugs, Alcohol, and Commercial Trucks Do Not Mix
Truck driving can be a lonely profession. Drivers spend long days driving the monotonous highways alone, often driving the same routes over and over. It is understandable that drivers may become bored or depressed and may turn to using psychoactive substances either for entertainment or to cope with their emotions. Additionally, many truck drivers use stimulants in order to remain alert on the road for longer driving shifts.
No matter what the reason behind alcohol or drug use may be, there is no excuse for a person to operate a commercial truck while impaired by substances. Anytime truck drivers decide to drive under the influence (DUI), they put everyone else on the roads around them at grave risk for serious collisions and injuries. If a drunk or high commercial truck driver has caused you injury, your first call should be to the Dolman Law Group to discuss your situation with a skilled truck accident attorney.
Truck drivers are held to a strict standard regarding drugs and alcohol
Driving any type of vehicle while under the influence is dangerous. However, because of the sheer size and weight of trucks compared to other types of vehicles, the potential to cause devastating damage and injury is often higher in truck accidents. For this reason, commercial drivers have more stringent DUI laws that they must obey.
In Florida, the average driver who is of the legal age to drink alcohol violates the law1 if they drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Commercial drivers, however, are prohibited by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)2 and state law from driving with a BAC of 0.04 percent or more. Depending on the weight of the truck driver and other factors, it may only require one to two drinks to reach the unlawful level.
In addition to having stricter DUI laws, truck drivers also may not drive while they are under the influence of a controlled substance. Such controlled substances that are regularly used by truck drivers can include:
– Prescription medications (without a valid prescription)
Any of these substances has the potential to lead to serious driver impairment and dangerous collisions. Truck drivers who drive under the influence of any substance should be held responsible for their actions.
Holding the trucking company liable for violating regulations
Truck drivers themselves are not the only party that can be held liable in a case involving a DUI truck accident. Trucking companies also have important responsibilities set out in the FMCSA regulations involving drug and alcohol testing3 of drivers. Drivers must undergo drug tests at the following times:
– Prior to obtaining final commercial license
– At random intervals throughout their career
– Following any type of accident or similar incident
Trucking companies are responsible for performing the correct drug and alcohol tests on all drivers. They are subsequently expected to refuse to hire drivers who fail tests or to discipline current drivers who fail random tests.
Not all trucking companies follow these regulations, however. Some do not want to commit the time and resources needed to perform random tests on all drivers. Others may simply look the other way if a driver is found to have had drugs or alcohol in their system. In such instances, the trucking company should be held liable for its negligence in not following proper FMCSA regulations.
Contact an experienced Clearwater truck accident attorney for a free initial consultation
The team of attorneys at the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater understand how to effectively handle DUI truck accident claims against both the driver and the trucking company when necessary. We know how to use police reports, DUI convictions, and other types of evidence to prove that a truck driver was wrongfully operating a truck under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We firmly believe that impaired truck drivers should be held fully liable for any damage or injuries that they cause. If you have suffered injury, please do not hesitate to call 727-451-6900 to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756