Truck Accidents and DUI: Holding Commercial Drivers Accountable
By Shane Kadlec on May 14, 2018
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10,497 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in the year 2016. This accounted for 28 percent of all traffic-related deaths in United States that year. Of that 10,497 victims, 1,233 of the victims were children aged 14 or younger. Counting both fatal and non-fatal collisions, the use of drugs and alcohol contribute to roughly 16 percent of all traffic crashes.
Sadly, some of these drunk driving accidents didn’t just involve passenger vehicles but commercial tractor-trailers. Our Houston, TX truck accident law firm would like to consider the risks posed by drunk drivers who operate semi-trucks for a living. Given the severity of these kinds of collisions, it’s important to have skilled attorneys on your side for these kinds of cases.
Stricter Alcohol Laws for Commercial Drivers
For normal motorists, the BAC is .08. If a person has a BAC of 0.08 or greater, they can be arrested for drunk driving.
There is a much lower BAC for people who drive vehicles commercially. The BAC for drivers of commerce vehicles is 0.04. This helps ensure that the drivers of these commercial vehicles are less likely to be impaired while they are on the road. If a commercial truck driver blows a 0.04 BAC, this can have major repercussions for their career and future employment in trucking or commercial driving in general.
Drunk Driving Among Truck Drivers
According to a 2013 study published in the medical journal BMJ, many commercial truck drivers take controlled substances as a way to cope with the demands of their job. This includes taking alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines, and cocaine. Given the long hours involved in the profession, truck drivers may be persuaded to take stimulants to remain alert, and then use depressants such as alcohol or marijuana to help with sleep or relaxation.
If a truck driver is using controlled substances on their shift, whether stimulants or depressants, they put themselves and other motorists at risk. Even if other truck drivers are engaging in such behavior, there is no excuse for drinking while driving, or any sort of intoxicated driving.
The Responsibility of Trucking Companies
Before hiring a commercial driver, trucking companies should consider that driver’s record as a motorist. If that driver has multiple DUIs or DWIs on their record, the company should think twice about hiring that person as a driver. It’s just common sense. If the motorist appears to lack safe behaviors behind the wheel of a passenger vehicle, this similar disregard for safety can carry over into operating a commercial vehicle.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You
If an intoxicated driver caused an accident involving you or a loved one, our lawyers are here to help. We can offer expert counsel with regard to your legal options, and help you seek justice against the commercial driver or the company that employed the driver. We will make sure that the liable party is held accountable for their reckless and senseless actions.
Learn More About Your Legal Options
For more information about your legal rights and options following a drunk driving collision, be sure to contact an experienced attorney today. We at the Law Office Of Shane R. Kadlec are here to help you in your time of legal need.