Alcohol and Drug Use in the Trucking Industry
Alcohol and drug abuse is a serious problem in the trucking industry. Driving a truck is a very stressful job, and many truckers turn to these substances in order to take the edge off. But when their substance abuse spills over into their driving time, it can result in deadly consequences for themselves and those whom they share the roads with.
Driving an 18-wheeler is difficult enough under ideal circumstances, but when you add alcohol and drugs to the mix, it greatly increases the likelihood of commercial truck accidents with severe injuries. A big rig truck that is fully loaded can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, and when it crashes into other vehicles or pedestrians, the results can be catastrophic.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a truck accident that was caused by an intoxicated driver, you may be entitled to significant compensation. But trucking companies and their insurers will fight hard to minimize the amount of damages they have to pay out. Because of this, it is wise to retain an attorney or firm who has in-depth experience successfully pursuing these types of cases.
At Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C., we understand that getting injured in a trucking accident can take a major physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and it becomes even more difficult to bear when you find out that the accident was caused by alcohol or drug use. We know the common tactics that trucking companies and those who represent them use to try to avoid responsibility for accidents caused by their drivers, and we fight hard for every dollar of compensation you deserve. Call our Atlanta office today at 678-981-5370 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Intoxication and Trucking Accidents
Statistically, only a small percentage of truckers that are involved in fatal accidents have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above, which is the legal limit in most states. However, this does not tell the whole story.
The issue of chemically impaired driving in the trucking industry is not simply about being over the BAC legal limit – any amount of alcohol in a person’s system can adversely affect the way they drive a big rig truck. Furthermore, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established a BAC limit of .04% for those who drive commercial vehicles that require a CDL.
If a truck driver registers above .04% BAC, they can be charged criminally for DUI and be subject to an administrative commercial driver’s license suspension. But beyond that, truckers are not allowed to have any measurable amount of alcohol in their system while they are on duty, even if they do not register a high enough percentage to incur a criminal charge.
Drugs are considerably more difficult to monitor than alcohol when it comes to impaired driving. A trucker’s blood alcohol concentration can be measured fairly accurately with a breathalyzer test, but there is currently no similar test that can measure drugs in a person’s system on the spot. However, if a truck driver is suspected to be impaired after a vehicle accident, additional drug tests will likely be administered.
Whether a truck accident is caused by alcohol or drug use, the chemically impaired truck driver is highly likely to be held at least partially responsible – regardless of how much of the substance was found in their system at the time of the accident. This means that injury victims can file a damage claim against the driver (and their employer) for medical bills, lost earnings, property damage, pain-and-suffering, and other losses that are incurred.
Contact Our Seasoned Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or someone close to you suffered an injury in a trucking accident that was alcohol or drug-related, the attorneys at Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. are ready to go to work for you! Set up your free consultation and case assessment today by calling 678-981-5370 or sending us an online message.