More than 10,000 people die in drunk driving-related accidents every year. Alcohol and drug use is the second leading cause of truck driving accidents.
There are strict penalties for drivers who take the wheel while intoxicated. Those penalties are even more severe for truck drivers who carry a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
If you find yourself in a situation where you may lose your CDL due to a drinking violation, it would be wise to consult an attorney who offers legal services for truckers.
Across the country, states have set the legal limit a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can be at .08% for regular motorists. But for truck drivers, that limit is just .04%. Even one beer can put you over the limit.
Whether the truck driver is operating a commercial vehicle or a personal vehicle, they are still held to the .04% limit and could face having their CDL revoked if they get pulled over for drunk driving.
It’s understandable that truck drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to alcohol use. They spend many hours behind the wheel, which can lead to a lack of concentration and fatigue. Add alcohol to the mix, and you have one deadly combination.
According to Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration regulations, commercial drivers are restricted from drinking alcohol within four hours of their drive time.
Many trucking companies have their own guidelines and restrictions regarding alcohol use.
If a driver is suspected of drinking within four hours, they could be placed off duty for 24 hours.
Risking Your Career
One drunk driving charge can ruin your career as a truck driver. After you are convicted and served your time, you might find it hard to find a company to hire you. Carrier companies avoid hiring drivers with drunk driving offenses.
The best idea is to avoid alcohol as much as possible while you are on the job. Never have beer, liquor or wine in your cab. That alone could put your CDL at risk.
Wait until you stop for the night to crack open a beer. If you have a nightcap, do so in moderation so the alcohol will be well out of your system by the time you hit the road again.
Acting responsibly and obeying the rules and regulations regarding alcohol use can assure the safety of yourself and other drivers that share the road with you.