What are the regulations on DUIs for commercial drivers?

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When it comes to driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence, commercial drivers have a higher standard to uphold than regular drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set the limits for impaired commercial drivers lower than other drivers because of the serious threat posed to the public when an impaired commercial driver is on the road.

Some of the types of commercial drivers and their employers that the FMCSA regulates include:

-- Local, state and federal governments -- Anyone who leases or owns commercial vehicles -- Anyone who assigns the drivers for commercial motor vehicles -- Private motor carriers -- For-hire motor carriers -- Civic organizations -- Churches

Today, the blood alcohol concentration limit for commercial drivers is .04. That's half of what is required for other drivers. After a commercial driver is involved in an accident, he or she could be required to test for alcohol or drugs. The drugs that are screened for include: marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, phencyclidine and opiates. When a commercial driver is pulled over and he or she refuses to take a blood test for alcohol, it is the same as pleading guilty to a DUI. When commercial drivers get a DUI while off duty, they have 30 days to inform their employers. Should there be a conviction for DUI resulting in a revoked or suspended license, the driver's employer must not hire him or her until the restricted license is reinstated.

If you have been injured by a commercial driver who was found to be under the influence, you have a right to seek compensation. There could be several parties or entities liable, including the driver, his or her employer, the maintenance workers and more. Your personal injury attorney can provide more information on who may bear liability for your accident and how to best proceed with your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Commercial DUI Regulations," accessed Sep. 18, 2015

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