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Truckers subjected to strict drunk driving regulations

It goes without saying that truckers have to follow the same traffic laws and regulations as other motorists. In fact, they are subjected to even more strict rules governing their driving behaviors. For example, as a previous post has mentioned before, truckers are required to rest for a certain number of hours between each shift and can only drive for a set number of hours per day. Truckers must also ensure that their cargo is properly secured. But the restrictions do not end there.

Just as every day motorists are subjected to drunk driving laws, so too are truckers. The standard 0.08 percent blood-alcohol concentration level certainly applies, but truckers are under even stricter regulations imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Under this agency's regulations, truckers can be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year if while driving a commercial motor vehicle they either refuse to be tested for alcohol or test positive for a BAC of 0.04 or higher. If the trucker is transporting hazardous material when this happens, then the ban stretches to three years. A second refusal or conviction for drunk driving results in a lifetime ban.

So, what does this mean for every day drivers? A Tennessee resident who is injured in a truck accident may be able to file a lawsuit against a trucker and the company for which the driver works if that trucker was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Although showing any level of intoxication may be beneficial, showing that it reaches at least 0.04 percent can help to significantly bolster an injured victim's case.

Those hurt in truck accidents often have to face serious physical and financial losses, as well as significant pain and suffering. These individual may find it best to get more information about their options to recover compensation for their losses.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Part 383," accessed on Dec. 26, 2015

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