Commercial vehicles and post-accident drug tests

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2022 | Personal Injury

Commercial motor vehicles encompass many different types, including tractor-trailers and buses. When these oversized vehicles become involved in an accident in Mississippi, victims might suffer catastrophic injuries. Several reasons repeatedly appear when crashes involving CMVs occur, and intoxicated driving remains a common factor. Laws mandate drug testing after CMV crashes to determine when a professional driver took to the roads under the influence.

Mandatory post-accident drug testing laws

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees federal rules and regulations regarding the trucking industry. When a commercial vehicle crosses state lines, federal laws apply to the driver and the trucking company. Under current regulations, the FMCSA may require post-accident drug and alcohol testing when it has jurisdiction over a CMV driver.

Federal regulations mandating post-accident drug testing only come into effect during certain circumstances. One such situation would involve drivers who received a traffic citation for a moving violation within 32 hours of the collision.

Regardless of federal rules, local law enforcement could take action to determine if a driver was under the influence. A post-accident blood test might reveal alcohol or drugs in the driver’s system. Criminal charges may follow.

Intoxicated driving and its dangers

Driving under the influence increases the chances of big rig accidents. An intoxicated driver may become unaware of their surroundings and fail to see a red light. A driver might also not apply the brakes in time to avoid a crash due to the effects of alcohol.

Intoxicated truck drivers who cause accidents may face a civil claim. The combination of driving under the influence and committing a reckless moving violation before a crash might support claims for punitive damages.