A commercial truck driver told police officers he drank beer to stay awake when he was pulled over after nearly running multiple motorists off the road. While fortunate not to cause a crash, the incident does expose the serious problems of commercial driver fatigue and drunk driving.
DUI Laws and Federal Regulations for Commercial Drivers
In Florida, it is illegal to operate a commercial vehicle with any alcohol in the body. In addition to facing penalties associated with Florida’s DUI laws that all drivers are subject to, commercial drivers face a more severe penalty when they reach a BAC of .04 or higher. In fact, commercial truck drivers are supposed to be subjected to immediate testing following an accident, something that their employers often fail to do.
Commercial truckers are subject to strict laws because crashes involving these huge vehicles often cause devastating effects on other motorists. Commercial drivers are professionals and they are and should be held to a higher standard to keep our roadways safe. Unfortunately, some drivers do not take their duties seriously, and the consequences for motorists traveling in passenger vehicles can be severe, ranging from broken bones, to paralysis and traumatic brain injuries or even wrongful death. Occupants of smaller vehicles almost certainly pay the price for commercial driver error or recklessness.
As for the driver stating he was tired and was drinking to stay awake, federal laws require that commercial drivers not drive more than 11 hours in a day. Also, commercial drivers must take 10 hours off between shifts. Drivers are required to keep log books of the hours and turn them into their employers. Unfortunately, many times employers pressure the drivers to work more, putting all drivers in danger of being involved in a crash caused by driver fatigue.
Act Quickly When Involved in a Commercial Trucking Accident
If you or a loved one is involved in a commercial vehicle wreck, it is important to contact an experienced truck accident attorney immediately. There are many complex issues involving state and federal law that an attorney should be familiar with if he is to handle your truck accident case. Valuable evidence may not remain at the scene for long. Greenberg Stone and Urbano actively represent injured people and their families who are victims of truck accidents and crashes. Please visit our website at www.sgglaw.com and www.truckaccident.sgglaw.com for more information on your rights.