Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Driving Under the Influence

Semi-trucks are an essential part of our country’s economy, transporting millions of tons of goods and materials from coast to coast each year. As essential as these vehicles are, an 80,000 pound vehicle traveling at 70 miles per hour poses an inherent risk to other motorists on the road. Because of this risk, almost every aspect of the trucking industry is highly regulated by both state and federal law. One of the ways in which the industry in regulated is by imposing strict standards on the licensing of people who drive commercial trucks. Anyone who wishes to drive a truck across state lines must obtain a commercial driver’s license, or CDL. While CDLs are issued by individual states, federal regulations govern who may receive a license as well as establishing penalties for drivers who break the law. CDL holders who drive under the influence are subject to serious legal sanctions, including the permanent revocation of their commercial driver’s license. Anyone who has been injured in a truck accident in which they suspect that alcohol or drugs was a factor should be certain to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine whether they have an actionable claim.

Helping people injured by impaired truck drivers

Because truck drivers can pose a serious risk to others on the road, they are subject to higher standards than other drivers. Truck drivers regularly drive vehicles that weigh several times more than passenger vehicles, and may be carrying highly flammable or toxic cargo. It is apparent, therefore, that an impaired truck driver poses a significant risk of bodily injury to other people using the roadways. As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) has established a .04 blood alcohol concentration limit for people who hold CDLs. In addition, the law treats chemical test and breath test refusals the same as a DUI, meaning that refusing a test could result in significant penalties. In addition to truck drivers, drivers of the following vehicles are required to possess a CDL:

  • For-hire motor carriers
  • School bus drivers
  • Limousine drivers
  • Delivery drivers

In addition to criminal and administrative penalties, commercial drivers companies that operate that operate commercial vehicles can be held civilly liable for any injuries caused by an impaired vehicle operator. Potential damages from a commercial vehicle accident involving an impaired driver can include compensation for property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages.

Contact a Framingham personal injury attorney today for a free consultation

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle driver who was impaired, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Personal injury attorney Daniel Cappetta is an experienced advocate who zealously protects the rights of his clients, and is committed to getting his clients the full value of their losses. As a former prosecutor, he understands how to employ the legal system to obtain justice for those injured by the carelessness or recklessness of others. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Cappetta, call our office today at (508) 969-9505 or contact us online.

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