Fatalities or Serious Injuries from Albuquerque Truck Crashes Require Alcohol and Drug Testing

- Mark Caruso

Trucking Companies Must Perform Alcohol or Drug Testing When There is a Fatal Crash or Serious Injuries from a Dangerous Albuquerque Trucking Accident

Trucking is big business in the United States.  Many of America’s big businesses are trucking companies or logistics companies.  They use the interstate system to send goods from coast to coast and north to south, including some of the busiest interstates in the country which are in New Mexico like I-40, I-10, and I-25.  The largest trucking companies use these interstates constantly and are United Parcel Service of America, Fed Ex, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, YRC Worldwide, Swift Transportation, HUB Group, and many more.

Because of this, there are extensive federal regulations which govern the conduct of large commercial vehicles throughout all states.  States are free to add more restrictions or laws, but the federal regulations will cover a large amount of the standard conduct.  Even though most trucking companies try to comply, unfortunately a lot of times they cut corners, make mistakes, and don’t exercise safety.  This results in very serious trucking crashes, including in New Mexico.

Drugs and Alcohol are Major Cause of Albuquerque Trucking Accidents

One of the most common causes of trucking crashes in New Mexico is due to drugs or alcohol.  It is a sad truth that a lot of truck drivers do drink immediately before or even during their shift.  Some do it habitually, others do it to deal with the stress of being away from family.  But either way, it is illegal and dangerous.

It is also well-known that truck drivers will also abuse drugs.  Most of the abused drugs are stimulants to keep them awake and give them energy to continue driving long periods of time without rest.  However, the drugs will also cause troubles with inhibitions and make it harder for motorists to react or judge distances.  This can easily result in serious personal injuries in a truck crash.

Trucking Companies Must Test Truck Drivers for Drugs or Alcohol in Certain Circumstances

Under the federal regulations, a trucking company must test a driver for drugs or alcohol after an accident in certain circumstances.  If the trucking company fails to do so, it will be a violation of the federal regulations and an injured victim could use that to demonstrate the trucking companies negligence, lack of protocol, and poor structure which caused the motor vehicle accident.  These regulations are under 49 CFR s 383.303.

First, a trucking company must test a truck driver for drugs or alcohol if the driver gets a citation/ticket from law enforcement and there were either very serious personal injuries which need immediate medical treatment away from the scene (i.e., requiring hospitalization) or if a disabled vehicle must be towed form the scene.

Second, a trucking company must test a truck driver for drugs or alcohol if there is a fatality from the trucking accident.  This is an obvious one, but sometimes fatalities do not always occur right after the crash.  In fact, the federal rules state that a fatality is related to the crash if it occurs within 30 days.  Thus, a trucking company is best to always test a driver involved in a very serious crash which causes possibly fatal injuries.

The time to test for alcohol must be within 2 hours after the accident.  The time to test for drugs but be within 32 hours after the accident.  During this time, unless law enforcement says otherwise, a truck driver may actually continue to drive despite having a crash.  If a truck companies let the driver continue knowing he or she may be positive, that too can result in liability for the trucking company.

Injured in an Albuquerque Trucking Crash Caused by a Drunk or Drugged Truck Driver?  Not Sure if the Trucking Company Tested Him or Her, or Helped Protect You from Harm?  Call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. to Learn How We Can Protect Your Rights!

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.