Everyone knows that drunk driving is dangerous. Alcohol slows down reaction times, impairs judgment and reduces control of the body. Driving while intoxicated means risking your life and the lives of everyone else on the road. It also means risking fines and jail time. New Jersey law prevents adult drivers from operating a car when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is at 0.08% or higher. Rules for commercial drivers are even stricter.
Both state and federal laws limit commercial drivers to a BAC of 0.04%, half the limit for adult drivers in cars. This is because trucks are capable of causing much more damage than a car can. Drivers are expected to be professionals. They should know better than to drink on the job or before work. In fact, they are prohibited from drinking for four hours before they do any safety-sensitive work.
When truck drivers break these rules, they face federal civil fines, federal criminal fines and possible imprisonment. Additionally, drivers face a one-year suspension of their New Jersey commercial driver license (CDL) if they are caught operating any vehicle under the influence or their commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or higher. A second violation will result in a lifetime ban on holding a New Jersey CDL.
Unfortunately, truck drivers have a reputation for abusing drugs such as amphetamines. These drugs are often taken to help drivers stay awake while they work long hours or drive through the night. Both prescription and illegal drugs can have intoxicating effects and are not to be used by commercial vehicle operators. Use of these drugs brings the same penalties as drunk driving. A large percentage of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents test positive for at least one drug.
Employers may also be liable for injuries caused by intoxicated truck drivers. Trucking companies have a responsibility to make sure their drivers aren’t drug users and don’t have a record of drunk driving. If you are hurt in a drunk trucking accident or in a wreck with a trucker who was using drugs, your lawyer will comb through hiring records, background checks and other evidence to try to hold the trucking company liable.
Seigel Law represents those who have been injured in accidents involving commercial vehicles. Whether the driver who caused your injuries was drunk, intoxicated or simply negligent, our attorneys will aggressively pursue legal remedies for you and your family. To schedule an initial free consultation, contact us online or call us at 201.444.4000.