Many truckers are professionals. They have been hired to do a job and they depend on that job for their livelihood. A condition of employment is, of course, to obey the law and not drive while intoxicated. Unfortunately, commercial truck drivers do not always follow the law.
Intoxicated Truckers Cause Deadly Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of truckers driving with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) between 0.01% and 0.08% has not changed significantly since 1996. Specifically, FMCSA reports that:
- 4,152 drivers of large trucks who were under the influence of alcohol were involved in fatal crashes in 2016. In 1996, 4,688 commercial truck drivers who were under the influence of alcohol were involved in deadly accidents. During this two decade period, the number fell to a low of 3,175 in 2009.
- 19,951 drivers of light trucks who were under the influence of alcohol were involved in fatal crashes in 2016. This is more than the 18,057 light truck drivers who were under the influence of alcohol and involved in deadly crashes during 1996. The lowest number of intoxicated light truck drivers involved in fatal accidents during this two decade period was 16,706 in 2011.
While there was only a slight change in the number of fatal crashes caused by truckers under the influence of alcohol, there was a significant decrease in fatal accidents caused by passenger car drivers who had elevated BACs during the same time period.
Kentucky Law Prohibits Truckers From Driving After Drinking Alcohol
It is against the law in Kentucky to operate a commercial vehicle, such as a large truck, if any amount of alcohol can be detected in your body. According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the potential consequences for a trucker driving under the influence of alcohol or another controlled substance in Kentucky are significant and include:
- A 24-hour suspension from commercial driving if it is a first offense and the driver’s BAC is 0.039% or less
- A one-year suspension from commercial driving if it is a first offense and the driver’s BAC is 0.04% or higher
- A permanent suspension from commercial driving if it is a second offense
Despite these laws, however, intoxicated truckers are still on Kentucky roads and still put everyone on the road at risk.
Drunk Truckers Cause Serious Injuries
Any drunk driver—in any type vehicle—is dangerous. However, the size and weight of a truck can make a drunk trucker particularly dangerous. Serious injuries can occur when a drunk trucker misses a traffic signal, fails to brake, loses control of his vehicle, or otherwise causes a crash. Some of the injuries that can result from an accident with a drunk trucker include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
Many families are also left mourning the loss of a loved one.
What to Do If You’re Hurt by a Drunk Trucker in Kentucky
The trucker who was drinking and driving was responsible for your crash, but he may not be the only potential defendant in a truck accident injury case. If the trucking company knew or should have known that the trucker had a problem with alcohol, the trucking company may also be liable for any injuries or fatalities that occurred.
Evidence must be collected and analyzed in order to determine who was legally responsible for the accident and who should pay for your injuries. Our experienced truck accident lawyers know what questions to ask and what documents to collect to find out what really caused your crash and to hold the right people accountable.
To learn more about your rights and about how to protect your fair recovery, please contact us today for a free consultation. We will fight hard to get you financial compensation for past, current, and future lost income, medical costs, out-of-pocket expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering. We can be reached any time—24/7/365—via this website or by phone.