Intoxicated Trucking Accidents

Intoxicated trucking accidents happen when a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Intoxicated trucking accidents may be the fault of an intoxicated trucker or driver of a passenger car. While the truck may cause the most amount of damage, many intoxicated trucking accidents are caused by intoxicated passenger car drivers making careless mistakes while on the road with trucks. In order to prevent intoxicated trucking accidents, all drivers should make the decision not to drink or take drugs and then drive.

Laws Surrounding Intoxicated Trucking Accidents

In 1994, drug testing regulations for drivers of large truck were altered to include blood alcohol content under certain circumstances. Prior to the 1994 alcohol restrictions, urine testing procedures for certain drugs were already in place for drivers that carry a commercial driver’s license endorsement. In a study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, statistics from accidents involving large trucks were examined between the years 1982 and 2006, in order to gauge what impact the new testing requirements would have. The study concluded that fatal crashes involving alcohol use decreased by 23 percent after the mandatory alcohol testing requirement was put in place.

The law requires drivers of large trucks to be tested for alcohol consumption:

  • After a trucking accident
  • If there is reasonable suspicion that the driver has been abusing alcohol
  • On a random basis
  • After a previous violation
  • Prior to employment

Trucker Blood Alcohol Level

Current laws hold truck drivers to a lower blood alcohol content standard than drivers of passenger cars. While the BAC allowance for passenger car drivers is 0.08 in the United States, truck drivers are only allowed 0.04. While these limits determine unlawful intoxication while behind the wheel, any alcohol or drug consumption can impair judgment and be considered an intoxicated trucking accident. If a truck driver tests between 0.02 and 0.03, the company may require the driver to take 24 hours away from work before returning. The driver may also be suspended if the test is refused or if alcohol has been consumed within four hours of a driving shift.

Intoxicated Trucking Accident Consequences

Intoxicated trucking accidents can cause death, injuries, and property damage. Those responsible for intoxicated trucking accidents can face jail time and penalties. Victims of intoxicated trucking accidents are encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney. An attorney may be able to assist in recovering costs associated with medical bills and repairs from the party at fault for an intoxicated trucking accident.


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“Alcohol and Drug Rules.” U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. United States of America Department of Transportation, 17 Aug 2001. Web. 22 Oct 2013. <>.

“An Analysis of Fatal Large Truck Crashes .” U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. National Center for Statistics and Analysis, n.d. Web. 22 Oct 2013. <>.

“Effectiveness of Mandatory Alcohol Testing Programs in Reducing Alcohol Involvement in Fatal Motor Carrier Crashes.” American Journal of Epidemiology. John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 25 Mar 2009. Web. 22 Oct 2013. <>.

“Statistics and Facts.” Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. United States of America Department of Transportation, n.d. Web. 22 Oct 2013. <>.