The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, regulates the trucking industry. This includes regulations regarding use of alcohol and drugs while driving.
There are no exceptions when it comes to drivers who operate vehicles under the influence, but this is especially true as it pertains to commercial truck drivers. Commercial trucks are often larger and heavier, which increases their momentum. Combining these factors with a driver who is under the influence creates an extremely dangerous situation. Common commercial truck types include:
- Tanker trucks
- Delivery trucks
- 18 wheelers
- Dump trucks
DUI Trucking Laws in Georgia
Across the country, there are laws in place to protect against and prevent DUIs. Here’s an easy breakdown of some of them:
Blood Alcohol Content
You probably know that to drive home from a party or bar safely and legally, your blood alcohol content (or BAC) needs to be below 0.08 percent. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the rules are stricter, and rightly so. To operate a commercial vehicle of any sort, your BAC must be below 0.04 percent. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in commercial driver’s license disqualification and potential suspensions, fines, criminal charges, and sentencings.
Additionally, if a commercial vehicle driver has a detectable BAC, but it is under 0.04 percent, they will be out of service for 24 hours. Drivers of commercial vehicles are not allowed to consume alcohol for four hours before they drive.
If a police officer pulls a commercial vehicle driver over and has reason to believe they are intoxicated, implied consent comes into play. This means that by operating a vehicle in a way that would make an officer think they’re under the influence, the driver is obligated to consent to a breath, blood, or urine BAC test. If the driver refuses, they will face a court appearance and license suspensions.
Having an open container of a drink containing alcohol in a moving vehicle is illegal in the state of Georgia. This includes empty containers and containers with broken seals. Violation of this law will result in fines.
After a DUI Trucking Accident
Truck accidents are often very serious, resulting in excessive damage to vehicles, bodily harm, and sometimes death. If you have been involved in a truck driving accident and believe the truck driver is under the influence, contact the police immediately. The driver may be subject to a sobriety test, drug testing, and further investigation. Their employer may correspondingly undergo investigation as a responsible party in the accident.
Take photos of any evidence at the scene of the accident. This evidence may include damage to property, injuries, all vehicles involved, and more. Obtain a copy of the police report and ensure that it describes accurately what transpired.
The trucking industry is large and widely represented by legal defense teams across the country. If you have been harmed due to the carelessness of a drunk truck driver, contact the caring and dedicated personal injury attorneys at Jenkins Utley, P.C.
Contact a DUI Trucking Accident Attorney Today
The legal team at Jenkins Utley, P.C. offers free case evaluations during your initial consultation. You can rely on our legal team to litigate your trucking accident case and represent you against the trucking industry.
Contact our personal injury law firm online or call (404) 919-7297. Our Atlanta lawyers are standing by to assist you.