Are Commercial Truck Drivers Required to Do a Drug Test After an Accident in Miami, Florida?
May 31, 2023 | Sagi Shaked | Truck Accidents
Commercial truck drivers must adhere to higher standards than motorists who operate standard passenger vehicles.
Property damage and personal injuries are likely when an accident involves a commercial truck since these trucks are much larger and heavier than other vehicles on the roadways. For this reason, commercial truck drivers are legally required to undergo testing for drug and alcohol use.
But when do these drivers have to be tested for the use of controlled substances? Many of the regulations regarding drug and alcohol testing for commercial truck drivers are overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
If you have been involved in a collision involving a commercial vehicle in Florida, do not wait. Speak with a personal injury attorney to pursue the financial compensation that you deserve.
Drug Testing Regulations for Commercial Truck Operators
Drug and alcohol testing regulations for commercial drivers are determined by the FMCSA. This agency requires all commercial truck operators to undergo drug tests to keep the nation’s roadways as safe as possible.
According to FMCSA regulations, commercial truckers must undergo testing before they are employed. The FMCSA also requires drug and alcohol testing in these contexts:
- Following reasonable suspicion of drug use
- Randomized drug tests
- Periodic alcohol breathalyzers
FMCSA testing regulations aim to ensure the safety of other drivers and reduce the number of accidents on the roads.
Understanding Post-Accident Testing in Florida
One of the situations in which commercial drivers must undergo tests for drug and alcohol use is after they are involved in an accident. This is true in Miami, Florida, as well as throughout the country.
The FMCSA requires commercial drivers to submit to post-accident screenings in certain circumstances. For example, suppose an accident involving a commercial truck results in a fatality and an involved driver is cited for a moving violation. In these situations, the relevant driver must undergo drug and alcohol tests.
If a driver is given a citation for a moving violation and any vehicle must be towed, the commercial driver will need to be tested for controlled substances. Finally, if any involved party is injured and requires immediate medical attention, the involved driver will be required to submit to tests.
According to regulations, these drug and alcohol tests must be conducted within two hours of the incident. If a driver is unable to submit to a test within this time frame, they must be tested as quickly as possible.
Penalties for Commercial Drivers Who Use Drugs or Alcohol
Tests help determine whether the driver’s use of alcohol or drugs contributed to the collision. Drivers who test positive for drug or alcohol use will likely face penalties.
Commercial truck drivers may face criminal charges if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above 0.08%. This type of charge is known as “driving under the influence” (DUI) and is a very serious offense in the state of Florida.
The severity of the criminal penalties for commercial drivers facing a DUI conviction will depend on the perpetrator’s BAC. The courts will also take into account any previous DUI convictions on the driver’s record.
Beyond criminal penalties, drunk truck drivers may face a suspension of their commercial license. Those convicted of a DUI are not permitted to drive commercially for at least one year, according to FMCSA regulations.
Speaking With a Truck Accident Lawyer Is Critical After a Commercial Truck Accident in Miami, FL
When you have been harmed by a commercial truck driver’s negligence or recklessness, such as alcohol or drug use while driving, it is important to seek legal counsel. You may be owed significant compensation for the losses you have incurred.
A knowledgeable Miami truck accident attorney will help you build a powerful case to hold the responsible party accountable.