Commercial Truck Drivers & DUI Accidents
Washington, DC Truck Accident Lawyers
It is unlawful for commercial drivers to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Like many states, Washington, DC holds commercial drivers to the DUI standards set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which disallows CDL holders (commercial driver’s license) from operating a motor vehicle with a BAC that exceeds .04%. In other words, commercial drivers are held to higher standard of sobriety.
While driving a large truck, even the slight impairment can lead to a deadly mistake. Because of their size, commercial vehicles can be difficult to maneuver; they cannot stop as efficiently as smaller cars and tend to have larger blind spots. Laws concerning drug and alcohol use while operating a commercial vehicle are very strict – more stringent than laws for passenger vehicles. As the government continues to facilitate tougher DUI standards for drivers, commercial drivers must be held to high expectations as well.
Commercial Drivers & BAC in Washington, DC
Truck drivers value their commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). It is the key to their livelihood. Even if no one is hurt, an accident or drug or alcohol violation can mean losing their CDL and their career forever. Federal law requires that truck drivers take random alcohol and drug tests. Driver intoxication, which used to be responsible for a large percentage oftruck accidents, has dropped in recent years. Drug use is much more commonly involved in trucking accidents than alcohol.
According to research, alcohol is involved in only about one to three percent of trucking accidents. In all fifty states, the blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold was .08%. Federal law limitations for drivers of commercial vehicles is even more stringent, making it illegal for them to drive with a BAC of .04% or higher. Additionally, commercial drivers are not allowed to consume alcohol during work hours. If you suspect that your truck accident was caused an impaired commercial driver, you may be entitled to money.
Drug Use & Commercial Driver Fatigue
Whether you realize it or not, driver fatigue is responsible for approximately 40% of commercial driver accidents. Some of these accidents are related to drug use as well. Virtually all truck drivers deal with driver fatigue at some point; however, some CDL holders use artificial stimulants to stay alert behind the wheel. While many motorist use coffee, music, or cool air to stay awake, these methods aren’t always enough to stay awake.
As professional drivers, truck drivers don’t always have the luxury of pulling over and taking a nap. With strict deadlines to meet, many truck drivers turn to methamphetamines to stay awake on long trips. Compared to most drugs, these simulants are cheap, long-lasting, and easy to find at truck stops.
Unfortunately, illegal stimulants like these can result in sever driver impairment; side effects like paranoia can lead to serious accidents.
Contact Our Washington, DC Truck Accident Attorneys
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, Siegel, P.C., we believe that irresponsible commercial truck drivers should be held responsible for their careless driving. If you or a loved on suffered an injury because of an impaired truck driver, our team of Washington, DC truck accident lawyers has the skill to help you file a successful lawsuit. When you work with our firm, you can have confident knowing that our attorneys have more than 90 years of collective experience. Let us put it to work for your truck accident claim.
Do you need a truck accident attorney in Washington, DC? Contact us to request a FREE case consultation.