You take a risk every time you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Chances are, you do you best to reduce those risks by driving safely and following the rules of the road. However, you can't control the bad decisions made by other drivers. People in other vehicles can swerve into your lane, drive too fast or just choose distraction over focusing on safety. Exhausted drivers and drunk drivers can put everyone at risk.
When the person who is taking unnecessary risks is a commercial truck driver, people in passenger vehicles are at increased risk of injury or death. When commercial trucks crash with passenger vehicles, the people in the smaller vehicle are much more likely to end up hurt or killed. That's why drunk or impaired driving when in a commercial vehicle is a serious concern. It could prove fatal for others on the road. Sometimes, however, that doesn't stop a reckless person from getting behind the wheel.
Commercial drivers get held to a higher standard
There's little doubt that alcohol consumption correlates with an increased risk for accidents. In general, most drivers in Colorado are subject to a legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08 percent. If someone gets stopped by police and testing shows a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, that person will likely face driving under the influence charges. Those who operate commercial vehicles are subject to stricter limits. In general, commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher could end up facing driving under the influence charges.
While that is half of what a typical driver is allowed, it makes sense that the restriction is much stricter. After all, commercial drivers are at work. They are also operating multi-ton trucks with the power to destroy buildings and demolish smaller vehicles. In order to do so safely, their response times and awareness should be completely unimpaired. Alcohol can slow the ability to respond or cause someone to miss critical information, such as brake lights ahead.
Commercial trucks cause catastrophic collisions
When someone experiences a collision with a commercial truck, the small vehicle is often destroyed or seriously damaged. Property damage is often the lesser concern, however. People in the smaller vehicle could suffer severe injuries, including head and brain injuries, spinal injuries, crushing trauma and lost or broken limbs. Those injuries can require extensive and expensive medical treatment and may result in missing work and lost wages.
Commercial truckers have to complete in-depth education programs in order to obtain a commercial license. They receive education about alcohol impairment and safety. If a commercial driver chooses to operate a commercial vehicle after drinking, he or she should be accountable for that decision. Filing a civil lawsuit for losses is one way to ensure an impaired commercial driver is held accountable.