In New Jersey, commercial trucking is taken very seriously due to the enormous size of commercial vehicles compared to that of small passenger vehicles. This inherently poses a danger that is obvious to human eyes, with a small chance that a passenger in a motor vehicle would come out of an accident without severe injuries or even alive, for that matter. Many of these serious accidents unfortunately end in fatalities when enough speed and force is used. This is why there are regulations put in place for truck drivers to follow at all times – however, this does not mean that drivers will always listen.
Any driver who has obtained a CDL is held to a higher standard than those who do not operate commercial vehicles. This is why drunk or drugged driving is completely off-limits and taken very seriously when it does occur in a CDL setting. A drunk commercial driver poses a serious threat to public safety and also a huge liability to their employer, who would have to help pay for damages in the event of an accident. Many of these accidents will lead to an enormous lawsuit, which becomes a big deal for these companies.
This is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has helped states adopt important guidelines and regulations put in place to protect drivers and punish the truck drivers who disobey the laws. A 0.04 percent blood-alcohol concentration limit is currently set for commercial drivers in almost all states in the U.S. This is about half the BAC limit for non-commercial drivers in many states. FMCSA rules also state that a driver is not permitted to operate a commercial vehicle within four hours of consuming alcohol. After an accident, regulations say in many cases that a commercial driver must submit to alcohol testing where there is reasonable suspicion that they have been driving under the influence and an accident occurred. FMCSA rules also state that the refusal to take a blood alcohol test is the equivalent of pleading guilty to a DUI.
Penalties for Drunk Drivers
In New Jersey, if a commercial driver was operating their vehicle under the influence, they will face specific penalties. These may include the suspension or revocation of their commercial driver’s license, points assessed to their driver’s license, the temporary or permanent loss of their job, higher insurance rates, fines, and possible jail time depending on the violation. Employers take these crimes very seriously. CDL holders must abide by the statute of limitations of 30 days to report the traffic violation to their employer. If the driver has sustained a revocation of their license, they will not be able to work for their employer until they receive their CDL again.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial driver who was under the influence of alcohol, you can call us today for help with your case. Along with the penalties that a driver will face on their own, they will also owe you compensation for your injuries. This is why it is important to call as soon as possible so we can have a look at your claim.