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Commercial drivers are held to higher DUI regulations

Commercial drivers are held to higher standards than those who drive other vehicles. Why? Their vehicles are large and dangerous.

When a semitruck or commercial vehicle gets into a crash, the stakes are higher for everyone involved. Larger vehicles tend to cause more serious accidents, and that means that even a low-speed collision could result in serious injuries or death. Drunk or drugged drivers pose such a serious threat to the public that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented regulations beyond what typical drivers face.

The FMCSA regulations for commercial drivers state that commercial drivers may not have a blood alcohol concentration over .04 percent. This is half the legal limit for other drivers, but it helps guarantee that anyone driving a big rig or other commercial vehicle isn't intoxicated while doing so. Additionally, the FMCSA further prevents drunk driving by commercial drivers by requiring commercial drivers to wait at least four hours before driving if they've had any alcohol to drink. If the driver is pulled over and refuses to submit to a breath test, the FMCSA rules equate that to pleading guilty.

Commercial drivers also have to meet stringent standards when it comes to alcohol and drug testing. They must be willing to submit drug or alcohol tests randomly. They must submit them after crashes or if there is reasonable suspicion of drunk driving. The FMCSA generally screens for drugs including marijuana, amphetamines, opiates, phencyclidine and cocaine.

Commercial drivers must be as safe as possible on the roads. If they cause a collision, it's within your rights to hold them accountable for their actions by pursing a claim.

Source: FindLaw, "Commercial DUI Regulations," accessed Nov. 15, 2017

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