Can using or transporting drugs result in a suspended CDL for a driver? Who is liable for injuries caused by a truck driver who is under the influence or engaged in illicit activities? A CDL can be suspended when a commercial truck driver uses either legal or illicit drugs and gets behind the wheel. Furthermore, a CDL can be suspended if a truck driver engages in the transport of illicit drugs.
In 2016, the US Department of Transportation showed that 1.98% of commercial truck drivers failed their drug tests. This was the highest rate of drug use among commercial truck drivers since 2009. It represented a .14% increase over 2015. While 2% may not seem significant, it represents approximately 108,000 of the 5.4 million commercial truck drivers in the United States. Of those who failed their tests, 44,000 tested positive for marijuana use. Marijuana was the most common drug discovered on reactive drug tests. Approximately 35,000 tested positive for amphetamines. This was followed by nearly 15,000 drivers who tested positive for cocaine.
The problem has grown significantly in the past decade. Two years ago, the increasing number of reactive drug tests led the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to call upon the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to issue more stringent screening of commercial truck drivers. These recommendations include shifting to the use of hair testing rather than urine testing. Doing so would show a better picture of a driver's overall drug use and not only drugs that are currently in their system.
The NTSB is also recommending that carriers increase their testing standards on new hires to match the standards existing employees must meet. Carriers can be held liable for negligence if they fail to test their employees for both legal and illicit drug use. Whether prescription or illicit, the use of drugs behind the wheel of a large truck is a deadly combination that places other motorists and pedestrians at risk of serious harm and wrongful death.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a Wichita law firm with truck accident lawyers, auto accident attorneys, lawyers, and abogados who represent clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois following motor vehicle accidents. Whether the accident occurred in Wichita, Liberal, Columbia, California, Jefferson City, Eldon, Arrow Rock, Boonville, Sedalia, Whiteman AFB, Warrensburg, Higginsville, Marshall, Chillicothe, Brookfield, Marceline, Cameron, St. Joseph, Lawrence, Olathe, Overland Park, Lee's Summit, Ottawa, Richmond, Norborne, Bogard, Lawson, Kearney, Excelsior Springs, Liberty, Platte City, Weston, Leavenworth, Lansing, Gardner, Peculiar, Valley Falls, Meriden, Hoyt, Rossville, Harveyville, Burlingame, Carbondale, Overbrook, Osage City, Lyndon, Stillwater, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Edmond, Moore, Tonkawa, Ponca City, Broken Arrow, Muskogee, Checotah, Eulaula, Okmulgee, Sand Springs, Vinita, Watonga, Hinton, Fairview, Shawnee, Booker, Perryton, Spearman, Texhorna, Goodwell, Guymon, Elkhart, Hugoton, Shattuck, Arnett, Meade, Canadian, Vici, Lakin, Syracuse, Garden City, Cimarron, Bucklin, Dodge City, or elsewhere in these states, our Wichita law firm can help clients pursue claims for actions caused by negligent drivers who deserve to have a suspended CDL for their actions.
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