Commercial Truck Drivers & DUI Accidents
Washington, DC Truck Accident Lawyers
While driving a large truck, even a 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 they tend to have larger blind spots. When large trucks cause accidents, the results can be devastating.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle and suspect the driver was driving under the influence, contact a lawyer at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, Siegel, P.C. We will help you seek justice and fight for the compensation you deserve.
DUI Laws for Commercial Drivers
It is unlawful for commercial drivers to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Like many states, Washington, D.C. holds commercial drivers to the DUI standards set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which disallows commercial driver’s license (CDL_ holders from operating a motor vehicle with a BAC that exceeds .04%.
Like drivers of passenger vehicles, commercial drivers face DUI convictions and license suspension if they go over the legal limit. However, even if a driver is off duty in their personal vehicle, they face harsher penalties because of their commercial license. In other words, commercial drivers are held to a higher standard of sobriety.
Laws concerning drug and alcohol use while operating a commercial vehicle are more stringent than laws for passenger vehicles. As the government continues to facilitate stricter DUI laws and standards for non-commercial drivers, truck drivers must also be held to high expectations.
Commercial Drivers & BAC in Washington, D.C.
Truck drivers value their CDLs. It is the key to their livelihood. Even if no one is hurt, an accident or DUI conviction can mean losing their CDL and career forever. Federal law requires that truck drivers take random alcohol and drug tests.
Driver intoxication, which used to be responsible for many truck 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 commercial motor vehicle accidents. The blood alcohol content (BAC) legal limit was .08% in all fifty states. Federal law limitations for drivers of commercial vehicles are 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 an impaired commercial driver caused your truck accident, 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 drivers use artificial stimulants to stay alert behind the wheel. While many motorists use coffee, music, or cool air to stay awake, these methods aren’t always enough.
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. These stimulants are cheap, long-lasting, and easy to find at truck stops compared to most drugs.
Unfortunately, illegal stimulants like these can result in severe impairment for a CDL holder; side effects like paranoia can lead to serious accidents.
What Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, Siegel, P.C. Can Do To Help
The Washington, D.C. truck accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success in helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others.
Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish negligence and other types of liability.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has obtained more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
Contact Our Washington, D.C. Truck Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation
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 one suffered an injury because of an impaired truck driver, our team of Washington, DC truck accident lawyers have the skill to help you file a successful lawsuit.
Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve