Attorneys in San Diego believe one reason truck drivers do not get arrested for DUI that frequently is because of the Federal Alcohol Testing Requirements. 500,000 mandatory DUI/ alcohol tests are preformed on commercial drivers every year, lawyers are told.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) adopted mandatory alcohol testing policies in 1995. Under the program, semi-truck and other commercial vehicle drivers may be subjected to several types of mandatory DUI/alcohol testing, including tests that may be ordered by an employer or supervisor who has reasonable suspicion to believe the driver has consumed alcohol.
Other times when commercial drivers are required to submit to alcohol testing include:
– During pre-employment screening
– After an accident
– On a random basis
– When a driver returns to work after a prior suspension for violating alcohol policy
Under federal regulations, commercial drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% – .03% are removed from duty for 24 hours.
Drivers with a BAC of .04% or greater are suspended immediately and cannot return to service until they have been evaluated by a substance abuse professional, completed any required treatment program and passed a subsequent alcohol test.
The 1995 regulations have been considered controversial, especially by the trucking industry, in large part due to privacy concerns.
These regulations also have been criticized because previously there had been no evidence that the testing had any impact on reducing the number of drunk driving accidents. The findings of the Columbia study, however, show that the regulations have achieved their purpose to make the roads safer.
Drunk Driving can be a cause of an accident
According to NHTSA, almost 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. reportedly were caused by a DUI or a drunk driver, or at least involved one.
In 2008, nearly 14,000 people lost their lives in a DUI drunk driving accident.