According to the Centers for Disease Control, collisions involving drunk drivers are responsible for roughly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes. When the wreck involves a large commercial truck, the risk of fatalities is even higher.
Most states, including Texas, have adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations for commercial drivers and alcohol, which set a 0.04 percent blood-alcohol concentration limit. This is half the BAC limit for non-commercial drivers in most states. The FMCSA rules also stipulate that commercial drivers may not operate a commercial vehicle within four hours of using alcohol.
If a truck driver is driving while drunk or on drugs and causes a crash, there could be multiple parties responsible. In addition to the driver, the trucking company may be held liable if the driver is an employee. Even if the driver is self-employed and works for the company as an independent contractor, the company may still be held liable in certain circumstances.
Alcohol and Drug Tests for Dallas Commercial Drivers
When truck drivers make the decision to get behind the wheel when they are intoxicated, they put everyone else on the road with them at risk of serious injury. Big rigs require every ounce of the driver’s skill and attention to operate safely under normal conditions. When drivers attempt to operate them after having a few drinks, the results can be catastrophic.
Commercial drivers may be required to submit to alcohol testing randomly, after a collision, where there is reasonable suspicion, or as a condition of returning to duty following an alcohol policy violation. In addition to alcohol testing, the FMCSA regulations allow for drug testing in the following circumstances: as a condition of employment, where there is reasonable suspicion, after a crash and as a condition of returning to duty following a drug policy violation. The following drugs are often screened: marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and phencyclidine (PCP). When pulled over on suspicion of DUI, commercial drivers also face harsher penalties for refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test. Under FMCSA rules, refusal to take a blood alcohol test is the equivalent of pleading guilty to DUI.
Call an Experienced Dallas Truck Collision Attorney
Trucking wrecks caused by driving while drunk or on drugs are caused by individuals who failed to Texas safety rules. If you have been involved in a collision with a truck driver who has consumed alcohol, it is necessary to speak to a skilled Dallas truck collision attorney to hold those responsible for such crashes fully accountable, so they do not continue their reckless behavior. At Clements & Clements, our team of truck crash lawyers are aggressive advocates for our clients, working tirelessly to obtain full compensation for the physical,
financial and emotional toll the wreck takes on you and your family. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Dallas truck collision lawyers, call Clements & Clements today at 214-827-1122 or send us an email through our online contact form.