drunk and drugged driving in commercial vehicles

Drunk and Drugged Driving in Commercial Vehicles

Drunk driving is something that no driver should participate in, whether they are driving a passenger vehicle, a bus, or a truck. This is because not only do federal laws prohibit commercial vehicle drivers from getting behind the wheel when they have any amount of alcohol in their system, but drunk driving can also lead to fatalities. Trucking regulations, especially, have zero tolerance for truck drivers who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The reason why it is vital for truck drivers to stay away from drugs or alcohol is because psychoactive drugs or psychotropic substances can alter perception, coordination, cognitive behavior, attention, and balance. All of these aspects are a necessary requirement for safe driving. Driving under the influence has become a major public concern because it puts anyone on the road at risk and can lead to a terrifying accident under any circumstances.

Drunk or drugged driving can occur because truck drivers are under immense pressure in order to arrive at their destination sooner. This makes them take “shortcuts” to avoid rest breaks, such as drugs that will keep tem awake. Unfortunately, stimulants may actually increase time on the road as well as the likelihood of an accident. Many truck drivers will get away with using drugs and alcohol unless they are involved in an accident, which in that case, it is already too late.

Facing the Penalties

When you are a commercial truck driver, you owe a standard duty of care to every other vehicle on the roadways. Keep in mind, your vehicle is much larger than other vehicles sharing the roadways with you and you could cause a lot of damage. As a truck driver, if you disobey the rules of the road, you could jeopardize losing your CDL, even if you are so much as ticketed behind the wheel of your family car. Many prospective truck drivers believe that, if they have received a DUI in the past, they will never be able to become a truck driver because no employer will hire them for the job. However, this is not always the case. If a potential truck driver changes their ways and has not received a DUI in years, they may have a larger chance of becoming a truck driver in the future. Many employers realize that, over time, somebody will be less likely to continue on these unlawful ways. However, if you receive a DUI while working for your employer, you can expect to face harsh penalties. Here are some of the commercial driver penalties you may expect to face:

  • You could receive a suspension or revocation of your commercial driver’s license. However, this will depend upon many factors such as the contingent on your state, the nature of the violation, and your driving record overall. You may also face expensive license reinstatement fees once you decide to try to gain your license back again.
  • You may receive points on your license. This could mean the end of all driving privileges if you have as many points as your state allows.
  • You may temporarily or permanently lose your job.
  • You may experience higher insurance rates.
  • They may impose stiff fines.
  • You may receive possible jail time.

Nothing is worth that, right? If you are convicted of a DUI while you are working for a trucking company, you must notify your employer, which is a legal requirement. Because of this, you may risk losing your job and receiving other penalties. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we are an experienced group of attorneys specializing in trucking accidents and helping those who have become injured as a result. Call us today for more information.