You’re probably well aware of the dangers of drunk driving. But most people don’t take into consideration how drunk driving can impact truckers differently than other drivers. Big rigs require a much greater distance to stop, cannot react as quickly as other vehicles, and are unable to swerve. Breaking, evasive maneuvers, and changing lanes are three of the things that help drivers avoid accidents. When a trucker is drinking, they can’t do any of these things and have a severely delayed reaction to all road changes.
Because of the increased dangers that come with a trucker being intoxicated, they have a much lower BAC limit. Drivers do not have the luxury of getting away with a .08 BAC. Additionally, they face much more severe consequences for having a high blood alcohol limit.
Who Sets the Rules for Truckers?
The United States Department of Transportation is largely responsible for all things regarding truck drivers. But, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a smaller department within the DOT, is responsible for licensing, qualifications, and rules regarding drivers with a commercial driver’s license or a CDL.
While most states have set the limit for a BAC level to be right around .08%, the FMCS determined that CDL drivers are restricted to a .04% BAC limit. This limit largely reflects what you would see across many other countries. While a handful of countries are no tolerance countries and any BAC can lead to extensive consequences, the most common BAC limits range between 0.03 and 0.05%.
Many states have looked at the BAC limits used in other countries; however, the extremely lower limits have not persuaded many to take their BAC down.
What is the Commercial BAC Limit?
The commercial BAC limit is 0.04% for blood alcohol content. But many argue that that’s too high. While having a BAC over the limit will lose a CDL driver their license, it is possible for a commercial driver to get pulled over and have a BAC of 0.03 and continue driving. This has created a culture among truckers where it seems okay to drink behind the wheel as long as they stay below the limit.
What most people would like to see is a BAC limit for CDL drivers at 0.01% or a no-tolerance policy from the Department of Transportation. Why isn’t this already in place? Truckers spend so much time in their cabs and undergo so many assessments at state lines, waystations, and the chance of being pulled over for general inspection by officers that the Department of Transportation believes the 0.04% is a reasonable expectation. Certainly, the victims of intoxicated truck drivers don’t agree.
Can You Prove Intoxication Behind the Wheel?
If you were hit by an intoxicated truck driver, you might have questions about how exactly to prove the intoxication. Your first stop should be your police report. At the scene, the police may have conducted a field sobriety test and recorded their findings. Additionally, within the police report, they may include results from a blood test done to detect intoxication not only in regard to alcohol but a wide variety of other drugs.
You may also rely upon evidence that was found during the scene cleanup. Opened bottles or drug paraphernalia within the truck cab could be enough to indicate that the driver was quite probably intoxicated at the time of the crash. These elements can play a role in a civil lawsuit, and they may lead to criminal charges for the driver.
Getting Help with a Henderson Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are traumatic, and it’s a challenge to know which step is the best option. With a Henderson truck accident attorney, you’ll be able to talk through all of the possible resolution scenarios and see the full scope of legal options. If you have questions about how to address your truck crash, then contact Nettles Morris. Our team of experienced attorneys can help you dive into exactly what caused your truck crash, how the truck driver was responsible, and how you can pursue compensation.
Contacting Nettles Morris is likely only going to be your first step. We’ll arrange for a consultation to help sort out your initial questions. Then we’ll dive into your evidence and help build a solid foundation that will make it difficult for any involved insurance company to downplay the value of your claim. Our attorneys will fight for you during settlement negotiations, and if it’s necessary, we’ll help you move forward to court.