How can the police determine if a commercial driver used drugs or alcohol before an accident?

Burnside, LA – Driving a commercial vehicle is a serious responsibility. If a person operates a vehicle such as a semi truck or bus after consuming drugs or alcohol, they can put the lives of many people nearby at risk. For these reasons, there are strict DUI laws that apply to drivers of commercial vehicles. Law enforcement is also given special training regarding how to detect drivers who may be under the influence, and then make sure they are arrested and taken off of the roads before causing an accident. If a drunk commercial driver causes a collision before they are caught, they may be prosecuted and sued by the victims with the assistance of an attorney.

Initial contact

Techniques used by law enforcement to detect impaired drivers are all fairly similar for various kinds of vehicles. A commercial driver, such as a person who operates a large semi truck or bus may have an erratic driving pattern, they may appear to have trouble with basic movements or speech when they make contact with police, and they may smell like alcohol. 

Field sobriety testing

There are various techniques that have been developed to test a person’s coordination and ability to follow instructions. These are commonly referred to as field sobriety tests or exercises, and standards created by both state and the federal government have been used to come up with certain exercises that help determine a person’s level of impairment. If the person has trouble maintaining their balance, walking, or understanding the instructions during the tests, this can be used to show that the person is likely intoxicated. 

Chemical testing for alcohol and drugs

Probably the most convincing way that governments can show proof of impairment is through a chemical test. Depending on the situation, the police may request a sample of the suspect’s blood, breath, or urine to check the person’s blood alcohol concentration or for the presence of certain controlled substances. While driver’s of standard vehicles can have a blood alcohol concentration of up to .08 before they are legally considered intoxicated, this is lowered to .04 for drivers of commercial vehicles who are actively working. The results of this test are also introduced in court to help prove the issue of intoxication while driving

Additional help after an accident caused by an intoxicated driver

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a firm that works with accident victims in Burnside. They can provide assistance throughout the process to bring a civil lawsuit for compensation.

USAttorneys.com is a web directory of lawyers all over the country. They can be contacted by anyone who needs to get connected with a lawyer at 800-672-3103

Firm contact info:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806



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