TRUCK DRIVER ALCOHOL & DRUG USE
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Truck drivers are not only prohibited from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs like other drivers, but they are held to a higher standard when it comes to allowable blood alcohol levels. They must also undergo routine and random drug and alcohol testing to ensure their ongoing compliance with trucking regulations. Commercial truck drivers are held to these high standards because they are tasked with the already challenging Job of operating large and heavy vehicles that may be carrying hazardous cargo. They need to be alert with their abilities unimpaired if they are to drive safely.
It sometimes happens that truck drivers get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs. If these impaired drivers then cause traffic accidents, they are most likely to leave others seriously injured while escaping injury themselves. With their immense size and weight, semi-trucks, big rigs and tractor-trailers can literally crush other vehicles while sustaining only trivial damage. Victims of these collisions may be left with life-altering injuries and severe emotional trauma.
At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our Tampa injury attorneys recognize the importance of seeking justice on behalf of truck accident victims. Holding truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for trucking regulation violations, illegal acts and traffic offenses serves two crucial purposes. First and foremost, it helps injured victims and their families recover the compensation they need to start rebuilding their lives. Second, it aids in truck accident prevention by increasing awareness of these collisions and making sure at-fault parties pay.
Driving "Under the Influence" of Alcohol in Tampa, FL
A truck driver may not operate a commercial vehicle while with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04% or greater. This is half the legal limit for other drivers, who may not operate motor vehicles with a BAC of .08% or higher. Truck drivers are also prohibited from driving while their normal abilities are impaired by alcohol, even if a blood or breath test shows a BAC that is lower than .04%. These strict laws are in place to prevent drunk driving accidents involving commercial vehicles. Truck drivers who violate Florida DUI laws may face criminal charges and penalties, including fines, imprisonment and the suspension or revocation of their commercial driver's license. Enhanced charges and penalties may apply if someone was seriously injured or killed in an accident caused by a drunk truck driver.
Illegal Narcotics, Prescription Drugs & OTC Medicine
Truck drivers are also prohibited from operating their vehicles while under the influence of controlled substances, including not only illegal narcotics but also prescription medications and even over-the-counter drugs. Any of these substances may impair a truck driver's vision, judgment, reaction time and motor skills, affecting his or her ability to drive safely.
Trucking Company Accountability
Truck drivers and/or trucking companies may be held accountable for alcohol or drug-related truck accidents. Truck drivers have an obligation to obey the law and trucking regulations in abstaining from alcohol and drug use, and trucking companies have a duty to demand that their drivers follow these laws. Trucking companies must perform drug and alcohol tests on drivers when they are hired and if they are involved in accidents. They must also perform random testing in accordance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
If trucking companies are negligent or intentionally disobey trucking regulations pertaining to drug and alcohol testing, they may be liable for accidents their drivers cause. Discover how you can take the appropriate steps to seek justice with us by your side.