San Antonio Truck Accident Attorney: BAC for Commercial Drivers
For drivers operating a large truck with a commercial driver’s license, DUI laws are extremely strict. In fact, the legal BAC for commercial drivers is half that of non-commercial drivers.
When a truck driver is convicted of DUI or is involved in a drunk driving crash, the consequences are dire – both for the driver and their employer.
Commercial DUI Regulations
All drivers operating under a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are subject to additional laws and regulations beyond those that apply to non-commercial drivers. Among those are stringent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations regarding drugs and alcohol.
Drivers subject to these commercial DUI regulations include:
- Truck drivers
- UPS drivers
- FedEx drivers
- City bus drivers
- School bus drivers
- For-hire motor carriers
- Private motor carriers
- Civic organizations
- Federal, state, and local governments
- Anyone who owns or leases commercial vehicles
What is the Blood Alcohol Limit for Truck Drivers?
Truck driver blood alcohol limit laws set the maximum legal BAC for commercial drivers at .04. This means the CDL alcohol limit is half the legal limit for non-commercial drivers in most states.
However, truck drivers are also subject to additional alcohol regulations. For example, the FMCSA stipulates that commercial drivers cannot operate a commercial vehicle within four hours of consuming alcohol. Commercial drivers may also be subjected to random alcohol testing as well as testing after an accident where there is reasonable suspicion of DUI. Testing may also be required as a condition of returning to duty following the violation of an alcohol policy.
DUI Penalties for Truck Drivers in Texas
CDL holders convicted of DUI face a number of consequences. These consequences extend beyond those that apply to regular drunk drivers and can affect the commercial driver’s livelihood.
For truck drivers holding a CDL, first offense DUI is considered a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. This means the driver can face up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. In addition, a conviction may result in a one-year suspension of the driver’s commercial driver’s license. This may be increased to a three-year suspension if the commercial driver was transporting hazardous cargo.
A second DUI conviction will lead to a lifetime disqualification from obtaining a CDL.
Truck drivers convicted of DUI often face additional penalties beyond those prescribed by law. Employers of commercial drivers may require a good driving history, making it difficult for those with DUI convictions to find new employment once their CDL is re-instated.
Legal Options for Victims of Drunk Truck Drivers
Texas law also allows the victims of drunk truck drivers to pursue justice of their own. If a person is injured or loses a loved one to a crash involving a drunk commercial driver, they may file a lawsuit against the driver and their employer.
Victims should contact an experienced attorney if they want to file a DUI truck accident lawsuit.
Thomas J. Henry Law has represented victims of truck crashes for nearly 30 years. Over this time, we have helped our clients recover meaningful compensation for their injuries and damages. Among the damages often sought by truck accident victims are:
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Loss of enjoyment
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Attorneys may also seek punitive damages in crashes involving drunk truck drivers.
Punitive damages are damages that punish a truck driver and their employer for especially egregious behavior. For courts to award punitive damages, attorneys must demonstrate gross negligence occurred. Drunk driving can meet the bar for gross negligence.
Speak with a Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one was involved in a crash with a drunk truck driver, call Thomas J. Henry Law for your FREE Case Review. We have the experience and resources necessary to prove your claim, putting you on the road to recovering maximum compensation.
We are available 24/7, nights and weekends. Call now to speak with a San Antonio truck accident lawyer.