Injured by a Drunk Trucker?
The driver of a semi tractor-trailer was recently stopped by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) in Alachua County after troopers saw his truck drift across three lanes of Interstate 75. Drivers complained they had nearly been run off the road.
When the truck driver was finally arrested, he told the officers he had to drink beer to stay awake.
He was driving under the influence (DUI) with a blood alcohol of .127 percent, over three times the legal limit for intoxication. The truck driver was booked on charges of driving under the influence.
Stories like this are not common, largely because a truck driver can have his commercial license suspended for just one infraction.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an intoxicated large truck driver, you do not have to go it alone. Trucking accidents are devastating and the injuries can last a lifetime. The motorist will usually experience catastrophic injuries that require extensive and expensive medical treatment.
DUI Truck Accident & Fatality Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large truck drivers, who drive under the influence, made up just one percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2007.
But when a commercial truck driver consumes alcohol or takes drugs to the point of intoxication, the results are usually deadly.
Passenger vehicles weigh around 3,000 pounds and when one collides with a large tractor trailer, weighing in at up to 80,000 pounds, 98 percent of the fatalities occur to people in the passenger vehicles.
Florida DUI Laws & Penalties For Truckers
Because of the potential for devastation on our roads, the federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 established a 0.04 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) or greater as the definition of “driving under the influence.” That means a commercial truck driver can drink half the amount a motorist consumes and be considered legally intoxicated.
And a commercial truck driver is not supposed to consume any alcohol four hours before getting behind the wheel of his big-rig.
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, and the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999, together sends a strong message to commercial truck drivers that DUI will not be tolerated.
A conviction for a major offense will cause the driver to lose his or her commercial driver’s license.
For a first offense, the driver is disqualified for one year from carrying a commercial driver’s license, and up to three years if carrying hazardous materials. A second offense will result in a lifetime commercial driver’s license disqualification.
Because of the stricter definition for intoxication, if a large truck driver is over the legal limit of intoxication and injures you in an accident, there could be major penalties imposed on the truck driver, the carrier, the owner of the vehicle, and any party associated with the operation of the large truck.
Our Jacksonville DUI Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
Jacksonville truck driver negligence attorneys at Farah & Farah have been representing people injured by large trucks since 1979. Proving a DUI accident can be complicated, especially if a breath test or blood test was not taken at the time of the crash. It can involve crossing state lines and investigating many possible responsible parties. We have the resources and the experience needed to handle this type of large truck litigation.