Federal and state law prohibits anyone whose blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit from operating a motor vehicle. Truck drivers are forbidden from getting behind the wheel if there are detectable quantities of alcohol in their bloodstream. Penalties for truck drivers driving under the influence of alcohol are particularly steep in Florida.
Fines may range from $500 to $10,000. Potential jail time starts from zero to a maximum of 30 years all depending on whether the truck driver is a first-time offender, if there was a fatality or serious injury, and whether the driver failed to stop after the crash.
A drunk truck driver is not only a danger to themselves but to everyone else on and off the road. Per the NHTSA, nearly 10,000 people were killed in DUI crashes across America in 2014. This is about a third of all road fatalities and is roughly 1 fatality every hour. The annual cost of alcohol-related accidents is over $44 billion which includes medical costs, legal expenses, property damage, insurance administration, emergency medical services and lost productivity. In Florida, 685 people died following alcohol-related crashes in 2014. This is the third highest number in the country only behind Texas (1,446) and California (882).
Alcohol significantly reduces the truck driver’s abilities on the road. Depending on the degree of intoxication, alcohol may cause slurred speech, short-term memory loss, poor judgment, poor visual function, slow reaction time, loss of muscle control, diminished alertness, difficulty in sensing danger, inability to multitask, lack of concentration and loss of balance.
Read more: Top 3 Common Types of Truck Collisions
Preventing Alcohol-Related Accidents
- Ignition Interlocks – This is a device that may be installed in the trucks of persons convicted of DUI. It is a breathalyzer and only allows the truck to be started if the individual’s blood alcohol concentration is within the legal limit. Interlocks have been shown to reduce driver re-arrest by 70%. Under Florida law, a truck driver who gets a second DUI conviction must have an ignition interlock device fitted in their vehicle.
- Sobriety Checkpoints – Law enforcement can establish traffic stops where truck drivers are assessed for their level of alcohol impairment. Research has shown that the checkpoints can reduce alcohol-related accidents by nearly 10.
Contact to an Experienced Leifer Law Florida Truck Accidents Lawyer
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an accident and the truck driver’s blood alcohol concentration was above the legal limit, get in touch with an expert Boca Raton truck accident lawyer at Leifer Law Firm. If your ability to generate income has been destroyed, you not only need to seek payment for your treatment costs but also lost wages.
Truck accidents can be catastrophic especially for pedestrians and the occupants of the other vehicle. The gigantic size of a trailer truck when compared to a pedestrian or a passenger car means many people who survive end up living with a significant disability for the rest of their lives. Call us for a free case evaluation and we can explore avenues through which your quality of life after the crash can be improved.