Most drivers are aware of the regulations that govern their car driving privileges, especially those concerning the use of drugs and alcohol. There is now a nationwide standard that sets the blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.08 percent. This means that as long as you are driving safely with a BAC of 0.08 percent or lower, no matter when you consumed the alcohol that was in your system, you are—by legal standards—fine to operate your vehicle.
Commercial drivers and other transportation professionals face much more stringent standards. These operators not only face a much stricter BAC limit, but time also becomes a factor that determines legality. This rule governing time, know casually as the “bottle to throttle” rule, varies from industry to industry. Airline pilots follow a federally-placed 8-hour “bottle to throttle” limit. The Federal Aviation Administration also enforces a BAC of 0.04 percent to fly—most airlines, however, choose to employ a higher “bottle to throttle” time and a lower acceptable BAC.
Truck drivers also face a maximum acceptable BAC of 0.04 percent, but without an imposed regulation on when the drinks could be consumed. This means, theoretically, that a driver could have a beer and hit the road—the very road that you and your loved ones may be traveling on.
Tractor trailers seem to be getter bigger, faster, and more powerful each year, and there always seems to be new legislation pushing for heavier weight allowances and larger trailers. Trucks are already capable of causing much more property damage and serious injury than the average car, so it is only fitting that the rules that regulate safety standards are far higher than those that oversee the operation of cars.
The Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland truck accident lawyers at Lewis & Tompkins know how devastating the effects of a truck accident can be on an entire family, but they are also capable of tackling the complexities of a case involving a driver whose substance abuse may be the cause of an accident. If you have been involved in a Capital District or Virginia tractor trailer accident that you feel drugs or alcohol use may have caused, call Lewis & Tompkins today at 202.296.0666 for a free consultation.