Drug & Alcohol Abuse by Truck Drivers
Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators must be drug and alcohol free.
In 1991, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) passed
the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, which requires DOT agencies
across the nation to regularly test their drivers for drugs and alcohol.
If a driver fails a drug and alcohol test, or a trucker is arrested for a DUI,
§ 383.37 requires that employer to disallow that driver from operating a CMV. A
driver can be
disqualified from a year to life, depending on the violation(s). If you were involved in an accident with
a semi truck because the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
or had a history of substance abuse but was still allowed to drive, you
may have a claim.
Take advantage of a FREE consultation by calling us at (615) 933-2893!
Disqualifying Truck Drivers for Drug & Alcohol Violations
According to the FMCSA, truck drivers can be
disqualified for drug and alcohol related offenses. For example, a first conviction for driving under the influence can warrant
a year’s suspension. That same violation could warrant up to three
years’ suspension if the driver was transporting hazardous materials.
The most severe disqualifying offense related to drugs and alcohol is
using a vehicle to commit a felony involving controlled substances. That
offense would warrant a life suspension with the inability to petition
for 10-year reinstatement. Drug and alcohol testing of truckers with commercial
driver’s licenses (CDLs) must be administered by an individual who
has successfully completed DOT Supervisor Training.
Drug & Alcohol Use Statistics Among Commercial Truck Drivers
A review published in
Occupational & Environmental Medicine indicated that drug and alcohol use among truck drivers was high due to
the stresses of the job, the long hours that are often required, and availability
at rest stops and gas stations. For example, amphetamines and cocaine
can help drivers stay awake, but can also cause dangerous side effects
such as hallucinations and vertigo. While drug & alcohol use among
truckers is high worldwide, the FMCSA’s own numbers indicate that
only one percent of U.S. truck drivers test positive on random drug and
Another study evaluated trucking fatalities from eight states over a one-year period
and found that 67% of fatally injured truckers had one or more drugs in
their system, while 33% had detectable concentrations of drugs or alcohol
in their bloodstream.
Uncovering Evidence After a Drunk Driving Truck Accident
Truck accidents involving drug and alcohol abuse can result in serious
injuries to the brain and spinal cord. Victims of drunk drivers may pursue
compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other hardships.
Drunk truck driving accidents may also involve punitive damages, which
are intended to punish the at-fault party and provide additional financial
compensation for the accident victim.
Our team knows how to investigate truck accident cases to determine if
drug / alcohol abuse was a factor. Depending on the circumstances of the
accident, we may subpoena medical records, police reports, DUI breath
tests and other evidence. We may also conduct a thorough investigation
of the accident scene, searching for evidence such as prescription bottles
and drug paraphernalia.
We can put our extensive experience, skill and resources to work for you
to help you pursue fair and just compensation for your truck accident injury.
Call now for your free case evaluation!