Understanding New Mexico Law When a Drunk Truck Driver Causes a Trucking Accident on St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day was yesterday which is a renowned holiday for celebration, particularly with libations. But some people may not be able to partake because they have to work. This includes truck drivers, some who have been driving for days to delivery cargo across the country. One common hub for truck drivers is in New Mexico, particularly in Albuquerque with the interstate exchange. Unfortunately, some truck drivers do not care about the state laws and federal regulations which prohibit them from driving before a shift or while driving. When a truck driver decides to enjoy St. Patrick's Day by drinking and then hops back into the cab of a truck to finish a delivery, it could put all of us at risk for a very serious and fatal New Mexico trucking accident.
Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we know that truck drivers are not supposed to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol but unfortunately they do. Many New Mexico trucking accidents have been caused by truck drivers who are impaired, and these crashes are preventable and avoidable. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or wrongfully killed in a New Mexico trucking accident involving an intoxicated truck driver, call our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can help you today.
New Mexico Laws Against Drunk Truck Drivers
It is common sense to not drink and drive. Yet, far too many people continue to do so which puts everyone else on or around the roadway at risk for serious injury or wrongful death. This includes truck drivers who may be upset that they have to spend St. Patrick's Day away from family and friends, but decide to drink anyway. This creates a significantly more dangerous scenario as a large big rig that is driving by a drunk driver is like an unguided missile on our roadways.
In New Mexico, like all other states, driving is illegal under both the common law (judge-made law) and statutory law (made by the legislature). Specifically under statutory law, NM Stat. 66-8-102 provides that it is "unlawful for a person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor to drive a vehicle within this state . . . . [and it is] illegal for a person who is under the influence of any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safety driving a vehicle to drive a vehicle in this state." If a truck driver causes a motor vehicle accident in New Mexico and violates this statute, he or she may be found automatically negligent in a personal injury action.
Federal Regulations Prohibit Commercial Vehicle Drivers from Driving Drunk
In addition to New Mexico state law, there are also federal regulations which govern the conduct of all commercial vehicle drivers no matter what state they are in and where they are from. While violations of these regulations are not automatically going to create liability in a trucking accident case, they are evidence of negligence which can be used against a truck driver and trucking company.
The section of law that is particularly on point is 49 CFR section 392.4, which prohibits a driver of a commercial vehicle to operate such commercial vehicle while under the influence of any intoxicant that may render the driver incapable of safety operating such commercial vehicle. more specifically, 49 CFR section 392.5 prohibits the use of alcohol within 4 hours of a shift or on a shift. These two sections are powerful and can help a personal injury victim recover compensation for a New Mexico trucking accident.
Injured in a St. Patrick's Day Drunk Driving Trucking Accident With a Drunk Truck Driver? Call Us Today
If you have been seriously injured or a loved one wrongfully killed due to a drunk truck driver on St. Patrick's Day, please call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C.. Our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer will assess the facts of your case and apply it to New Mexico law and FMCSA regulations to ensure your rights are protected. We handle cases throughout New Mexico, including in Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington, Hobbs, Lordsburg, or anywhere else in the state, including Albuquerque where our law office is located. Call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can help. You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.