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Avoiding semi crashes with strict Connecticut DUI regulations

Many Connecticut motorists may think that DUI laws are strict enough. What they may not know is that the laws for truck drivers and other commercial motorists are even harsher. Why is this? Because commercial vehicles often carry valuable, heavy or fragile loads, whether they consist of lumber, hazardous chemicals, cars or people. Therefore, if an accident were to occur, the stakes would be very high, and the result could be serious injury, permanent disability or even death.

In Connecticut, the legal limit for non-commercial motorists is 0.08. For commercial truck drivers, the legal limit is half that amount, 0.04. In addition, the truck driver is not allowed to drive within four hours of alcohol consumption. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has put these strict rules in place to prevent fatal accidents. Not only can a drunk truck driver cause fatal semi crashes, but they can also face serious legal consequences and become a liability issue for their employer.

If a commercial vehicle driver is convicted of a DUI, he or she must inform the employer within 30 days. The employer has the right to randomly test the driver for drugs or alcohol after the accident and any time there is suspicion of intoxication. Besides that, there are criminal consequences the driver could face, such as fines and license suspension. These penalties are harsher than the ones that non-commercial drivers would face in similar situations.

If you are involved in a trucking accident, it is important to understand the regulations that apply. If you believe the driver was intoxicated, it's a good idea to let the police, and your lawyer, know. You may be able to receive additional compensation due to the truck driver's negligence.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Commercial DUI Regulations," accessed on Oct. 11, 2014

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