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Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Were you injured or did you lose a loved one in a truck accident in Little Rock? Was the crash caused by a truck driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs? If so, contact Pfeifer Law Firm right away to discuss your rights and legal options. 

Truck drivers have a responsibility to be sober and alert while on the clock. Federal regulations prohibit them from using illicit substances, require them to have a valid prescription for any prescription drugs they’re taking, and prohibit the consumption of alcohol within four hours of going on duty. Furthermore, their employers are expected to perform thorough background checks and ensure that their drivers are sober and responsible behind the wheel. 

Driving under the influence puts everyone on the road at risk. If you were hurt by an intoxicated truck driver, you deserve answers and justice. A Little Rock truck accident attorney like those at Pfeifer Law Firm can help you get the full and fair compensation that you deserve. 

Our consultations are 100% free and confidential. Call us at 501-374-4440 today or contact us online.

Alcohol Abuse in the Trucking Industry

Studies have shown that a significant number of truck drivers – up to 50%, according to one international study – have consumed alcohol before driving. In the U.S., as many as 12.5% of alcohol tests of truck drivers come back positive. Unfortunately, these statistics likely don't tell the full story, since drivers are only tested sporadically.

Illegal and Prescription Drug Abuse in the Trucking Industry

Some drivers may take drugs to push themselves through long, draining shifts behind the wheel. For example, drivers may rely on cocaine or amphetamines for energy in order to power through a long shift. In a study of truckers around the world, 30% of drivers admitted to using amphetamines. Alternatively, truckers may rely on marijuana to relax near the end of the workday.

Driving while using dangerous drugs poses a huge risk to everyone on the road, and especially when operating a large commercial vehicle. Under the influence of drugs, a driver’s judgment and perception may be severely impaired. 

Federal Laws/BAC Limits for Truck Drivers

When it comes to the consumption of alcohol, there are strict federal regulations that commercial truck drivers must follow. For one thing, drivers are prohibited by federal law from consuming alcohol within four hours of beginning a driving shift.

Truck drivers are also subject to a lower legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while operating a truck. Whereas drivers of personal vehicles are typically permitted a BAC of up to .08%, a commercial truck driver is limited to a BAC of up to .04%. If a truck driver’s BAC is at or above .04%, the driver could be arrested for driving under the influence.

Drug Testing for Truck Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires truck drivers to submit to occasional drug and alcohol testing. Trucking companies are responsible for testing drivers and ensuring that their workforce is sober when on the clock. 

There are multiple instances when truck drivers may undergo drug tests. Drivers are tested for drugs and alcohol when they are first hired by a trucking company, as well as at random intervals during their employment. Employers might also choose to administer tests when they have reason to suspect that an employee is drinking or using drugs. Lastly, a driver may need to undergo a drug and alcohol test following an accident, depending on the circumstances.

Pursuing Compensation for an Intoxicated Driving Accident

If you have been injured in a truck accident caused by an intoxicated driver, you may be eligible for significant compensation. Truck drivers have a responsibility to be sober when behind the wheel, and their employers must hire responsibly and supervise them. If the driver, the trucking company, or both have failed in this duty and caused you harm, you have the right to hold them accountable.

An experienced truck accident attorney can help you pursue different forms of compensation, including:
  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Vehicle repairs or replacement 
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering, including mental and emotional anguish
If your loved one was killed in a collision with a drunk truck driver, you and other surviving family members could potentially pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties. While no amount of money can ever bring someone back or end your grief and suffering, it can help ensure that you don't struggle financially in the aftermath. In a wrongful death claim, surviving family members could recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses, final medical bills, loss of financial support, and more. 

How Will My Lawyer Prove My Case?

To maximize your chances of recovering compensation, you will need to demonstrate that the truck driver (or the trucking company) was negligent and was responsible for the accident. A skilled truck accident attorney will work to gather the necessary evidence to prove the other party’s liability.

Even though the accident’s fault may seem to clearly lie with the truck driver and/or the trucking company, proving this fact is sometimes far from straightforward. Trucking companies are well-prepared when it comes to protecting themselves against liability, and they have teams of attorneys to defend them against legal claims.

Therefore, to build a strong case to prove that you’re owed full compensation, your lawyer may secure evidence such as the following:
  • The truck driver’s past drug tests, including the test following the accident
  • The trucking company’s policy surrounding drug and alcohol testing
  • Other information pertaining to the company’s supervision of drivers
  • Statements from eyewitnesses and expert witnesses
  • Data from the truck’s black box, which can indicate the speed at which the truck was traveling, whether brakes were applied before the accident, etc.
  • Hiring an accident reconstructionist to reconstruct the accident
How Pfeifer Law Firm Can Help

If you have been hurt by an intoxicated truck driver in Arkansas, turn to an experienced truck accident attorney for help. Attorney Paul Pfeifer and the team at Pfeifer Law Firm can help you get the justice and fair compensation you're owed. 

With more than two decades of experience in personal injury law, Paul Pfeifer is prepared to handle your case with skill and compassion. He has secured multimillion dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients in Little Rock and across Arkansas and is prepared to put his experience to work for you.

We are confident in our ability to stand up to powerful trucking companies and secure compensation for our clients. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, which means that we will only collect a fee when we secure compensation for you. For a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer, call 501-374-4440 or reach out to us online now.