The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets forth rules and regulations for commercial truck drivers and trucking companies to protect the public because we must share the road with these extremely large and dangerous vehicles. Accidents involving commercial trucks result in the death or injury of the occupants of the other vehicles in over 70 percent of truck accidents. Due to the weight and size of a commercial truck, the injuries in a truck accident are usually catastrophic.

Therefore, the FMCSA sets forth drug and alcohol rules and regulations such as requiring a drug test that covers a minimum of five different substances:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates — opium and codeine derivatives
  • Amphetamines and methamphetamines
  • Phencyclidine — PCP

In addition to this requirement, the FMCSA has several other drug and alcohol regulations. Drivers and truck companies are required to comply with these strict regulations.

Rules and Regulations For Commercial Truck Drivers

Some of the regulations and rules put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to protect everyone on the road include:

  • All commercial truck drivers who operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) greater than 26,000 GVWR, a commercial motor vehicle that transports more than 16 passengers, including the driver, or a commercial motor vehicle placarded for hazardous materials on public roadways must be DOT drug and alcohol tested.
  • Submit to a drug test before employment before they can operate a commercial truck on public roads.
  • Participate in programs that educate truck drivers about trucking regulations regarding alcohol and drugs, in addition to, educating truck drivers in alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Commercial truck drivers must submit to random alcohol and drug tests. Employers are required to test a minimum of 50 percent of its drivers for controlled substances and 10 percent of its drivers for alcohol on an annual basis.
  • Drivers must agree to drug and/or alcohol testing if the employer has a responsible suspicion that the driver violated trucking regulation related to the use of drugs or alcohol.
  • Commercial truck drivers who are involved in a truck accident that results in the death of another person or results in a traffic citation being issued must submit to alcohol and drug testing. An alcohol drug test must be given to the truck driver within eight hours of the truck accident. A drug test must be given to the truck driver within 32 hours of the truck accident.
  • Submit to a return-to-work drug and alcohol test after a violation of trucking regulations. This also includes follow-up tests with a minimum of six tests within the following 12 months.
  • Face immediate suspension from driving a truck if a blood alcohol test results in a .04 BAC. If the BAC is between .02 and .039, the truck driver is suspended until the next regularly scheduled alcohol test.
  • A driver with a positive drug test or a refusal to take a drug test is immediately removed from operating any commercial vehicle on a public road.

Because commercial motor vehicles pose real dangers for everyone using our roads, these rules are strictly enforced with stiff penalties for any drivers or companies violating these rules and regulations regarding alcohol and drug use by commercial truck drivers.

Call a New Orleans Truck Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, it is crucial that you obtain experienced representation as soon as possible. Large insurance companies representing the truck driver and the trucking company have teams of professionals that begin working on the case immediately following the collision. You need a team of legal professionals on your side who put your best interest as the top priority as they fight for your right to full compensation for your injuries.

Contact the NoLA truck accident attorneys of The Olinde Firm by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free legal consultation. Time is limited — act now to protect your legal rights!