Federal Law Requires Certain Drug and Alcohol Testing for Truck Drivers: Learn How This May Help a Victim of a New Mexico 18 Wheeler Wreck
Many victims of New Mexico 18 wheeler wrecks do not think that they could be caused by the drug or alcohol use of a truck driver. Many think it is farfetched that a truck driver, whose livelihood is about driving a motor vehicle, could be intoxicated while behind the wheel. The rest of us do not drink while at work, why should we expect truck drivers to?
However, Albuquerque trucking accident attorney knows that it is an unfortunately truth that drug and alcohol related truck crashes do occur and the truck driver can be at fault for the crash due to intoxication. This is so prevalent and such a safety concern that there are federal regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which govern the conduct of truck drivers and drug/alcohol testing. These regulations can be used against a truck driver and a trucking company that is responsible for a New Mexico 18 wheeler wreck.
FMCSA Regulations Regarding Drug and Alcohol
Pursuant to 49 CFR section 382.103, drug and alcohol testing is broad and any CDL driver that operates a commercial motor vehicle like a large truck or big rig is subject to Department of Transportation drug and/or alcohol testing. This includes full time, part time, or even backup drivers. If you operate a commercial motor vehicle on the public roadways, you are subject to drug and alcohol testing.
What Substances are Tested?
The Department of Transportation and FMCSA regulations permit testing for basically any type of drug. This includes marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine. Any trace in a driver’s system could be a violation. Alcohol testing is also very specific and has a low threshold. A positive alcohol test can be as low as a BAC is more than .02.
When a Truck Drivers Tested for Drugs and Alcohol Following an 18 Wheeler Wreck
The FMCSA regulations have identified several criteria for when tests needs to be performed. The first tests actually must occur pre-employment, meaning that the trucking company must get a negative drug test before even hiring the driver.
Post-accident drug and alcohol testing must occur in certain situations. These include when any person has died during the crash, in a crash with serious bodily injury resulting in immediate medical treatment away from the, and in heavy collisions resulting in any motor vehicle having to be towed away.
In addition, if a truck driver tests positive he or she must be tested again and get a negative test before he or she can return to work. Any truck drivers who may be under the influence of alcohol by their employer or another coworker can also be immediately tested. Of course, if law enforcement requires the driver to submit to a drug or alcohol test if the officer has reasonable suspicion of being under the influence, the driver must also submit.
Victims of New Mexico 18 Wheeler Wrecks may be Entitled to Use FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Tests to Help Their Personal Injury Case
When a serious big rig crash causes devastating damage or wrongful death of a loved one, you may have rights to compensation. Federal trucking regulations can help prove your case against a negligent truck driver or trucking company. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, call the experienced New Mexico trucking accident attorneys at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.