Drunk Truck Driver Accidents

Truck Accident Causing By Drunk Driving in Georgia
Drunk Truck Driver Accident Attorneys in Georgia

Safety should be the foremost concern on a truck driver’s mind when he or she is driving any large truck. Whether the truck is a double or triple hitch, single trailer, wide load, hazardous materials hauler, or any other large truck, the driver must be in control of the vehicle at all times. Alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both, force a driver to lose control of their vehicle. Driving a passenger car under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both is inherently dangerous, so too is driving an 80,000 big rig with any alcohol or Schedule I drug in the driver’s system.

Georgia Code 40-6-391(i) prohibits any person from being in control of or driving a “moving commercial motor vehicle” if the person has .04 percent alcohol in his or her blood, urine, or breath. Operating a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04% or above is a misdemeanor. This figure is half the legal limit when operating a passenger car. The .04% BAC basically allows a truck driver one 12 ounce beer, a 1.5 ounce shot of 80-proof liquor or one 5 ounce glass of table wine within a couple of hours of getting on the road.

Driving after consuming any alcohol, no matter how little, can be dangerous. Even with a .02 BAC, you start to relax and lose your inhibitions slightly. A driver operating an 80,000-pound large truck without having all of his or her faculties substantially endangers the lives and safety of everyone on the road, including the trucker’s life. That is why the “legal limit” is so low when operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Driving a large truck safely requires the undivided attention of the driver, who is in control of all of his or her faculties. Consuming alcohol erodes all of the mental acuity and coordination needed to drive. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), driving after drinking alcohol can impair muscle coordination, reduce reaction time, depth perception, while impairing vision, hearing, and attentiveness.

Skills, judgment, and perception continue to deteriorate with every additional drink. According to GDOT, the ability to drive decreases as the driver’s BAC goes up. After consuming alcohol, a driver may:

  • straddled lanes,
  • make quick starts and stops,
  • fail to signal or forget to put lights on,
  • run a red light or stop sign,
  • may not react to danger as rapidly as if he or she had not been drinking,
  • exceed speed limit or drive at an unusually slow speed,
  • drive in the wrong lane,
  • make improper turns, and
  • weave in and out of lanes.

Taking any drug with alcohol or a schedule I drug by itself is a violation of the GDOT’s regulations and can also be a crime. GDOT warns CDL drivers that driving while under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol could result in the arrest, jail time, loss of driver’s license and permanent loss of CDL.

The use of marijuana by a truck driver is strictly prohibited by the United States Department of Transportation. Even though some states permit recreational use of marijuana and medicinal use of marijuana, a truck driver cannot drive under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, and therefore federal law prohibits CDL drivers using marijuana.

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Sources: Georgia Code 40-6-391(i)