What must employers do to protect you from drunk truck drivers?

If you have ever taken an extended drive, then you know just how taxing spending hours behind the wheel can be. For this reason, you may be inclined to be compassionate towards the truck driver that caused your accident in San Antonio. Yet those feelings of empathy can quickly turn to anger if you discover that the driver was engaged in reckless activity. Perhaps no activity is more reckless than drinking and driving, and you might certainly think that a truck driver would know better than to endanger themselves and others in such a way. By extension, you might also wonder what responsible company would allow such a driver behind the wheel of a massive vehicle like a semi-truck. 

The fact that motor and freight carriers can be held responsible for the actions of their employees has been detailed on this blog in the past. Yet that was specifically in reference to a driver's actions while completing a route. What sort of responsibility does a company have to ensure that you and others never have the potential to encounter one of its employees drunk while behind the wheel of one of its vehicles? 

Section 382.217 of the Code of Federal Regulations states that no motor or freight carrier is to require or permit one of its drivers to operate a vehicle in any of the following scenarios: 

  • If the driver has recently failed a drug test
  • If the driver has recently registered a blood-alcohol content higher than 0.04 on an alcohol confirmation test
  • If a driver refuses to submit to any type of alcohol or drug testing

Furthermore, an employer cannot allow a driver to drive if it has knowledge that the driver has consumed alcohol while on duty or within four hours of consuming alcohol prior to coming on duty. 

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