Who is Responsible in an Accident with a Truck Driver Under the Influence?
In Oklahoma in 2015, a truck driver killed four members of a college women’s softball team in a vehicle accident. According to records released by the National Transportation Safety Board, the truck driver, Russell Staley, had a history of using synthetic marijuana.
Unfortunately, trucking accidents involving drugs or alcohol are not uncommon. All too often, truck drivers get too little sleep and are tempted to use prescription or non-prescription drugs to make up for lost hours of rest. Some of these drugs are illegal. They also impair the driver’s ability to drive a large truck safely and can lead to catastrophic accidents.
Truck Drivers, Drugs and Alcohol
When it comes to impaired driving, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) holds truckers with a commercial drivers’ license to a higher standard than non-commercial drivers. Whether the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol a commercial driver is a serious threat to public safety. Commercial drivers in Oklahoma have a 0.04 percent blood-alcohol concentration limit (BAC). This is 50 percent of the BAC for non-commercial drivers in most U.S. states.
Alcohol and Drug Tests for Commercial Drivers
There are three situations where a commercial driver may be required to submit to drug or alcohol testing:
• A condition of employment
• Random testing
• After an accident where there is suspicion of negligence
• When returning to work after a alcohol or drugs policy violation
Drugs that are commonly screened include: amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine, and opiates.
Commercial license holders who are charged with impaired driving on the job are subject to the same rigorous criminal legal procedures as non-commercial defendants. Driving a commercial vehicle under the influence can lead to a suspension of the driver’s license or even a jail sentence. When a commercial truck driver injures or kills someone when they are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a truck accident lawyer will seek gross negligence and punitive damages.
Contact a Dedicated Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
Have you been involved in a car accident with a truck driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Did you know that you and your family can have a free legal consultation, so that you can find out how you can best pursue legal proceedings for your losses? Call Car Accident Help today to find out more. You can reach us at (800) 539-0652.
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