Post-Accident Truck Driver Testing

In the aftermath of a truck accident, the driver of the commercial motor vehicle will be required to submit to testing for alcohol and controlled substances under certain conditions. This piece of evidence can help prove liability and could be critical to the outcome of your case. Consult with a Queens truck accident attorney to help secure proof for your claim.

Post-Accident Truck Driver Testing

Commercial truck operators are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). When an accident occurs involving a tractor-trailer on a public road, the FMCSA requires that the truck driver submits to an alcohol and/or controlled substance test under specific conditions.

It is the responsibility of the employer of the truck driver to ensure the post-accident test is performed according to FMCSA’s specifications:

  • The vehicle’s specifications required the driver to have a Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL);
  • Within eight hours of the truck accident there was a fatality;
  • A fatality occurred between eight hours and 32 hours from the time of the accident; and
  • The truck driver received a citation for a moving traffic violation, and there was an injury at the time of the accident that required medical treatment or a vehicle was so damaged it required towing.

In other words, if an individual was seriously injured as a result of the truck accident, but the driver was not cited, they will not be required to undergo testing. If an injured party dies 32 hours or more after the accident, the driver will not need to be tested because any intoxicants that may have been in his or her system would no longer be detectable.

Exceptions to Post-Accident Testing

There are two exceptions to the FMCSA’s rules on post-accident truck driver testing. The driver will not be required to undergo post-accident testing if the incident occurred when the driver boarded or exited the vehicle while the truck was parked or otherwise stationary; or cargo was being loaded or unloaded.

Alcohol & Drug Testing

The FMCSA requires that alcohol testing be performed “as soon as practicable” and within two hours of the truck accident. If eight hours have elapsed since the incident and no alcohol test was performed, the employer cannot continue with the scheduled testing.

Controlled substance testing must be completed within 32 hours of the incident. If an employer is unable to initiate either test, they must document why they were incapable of administering the test within the given timeframe.

Drivers who meet the conditions for post-accident testing must make themselves available for the test, unless they require medical treatment. If a driver refuses to complete a drug/alcohol test or attempts to disrupt the testing process, their employer cannot allow them to continue operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Alcohol testing is done via blood or breath sample; drug testing is completed by urine sample. In order to “pass” the test, the driver must have a 0% blood alcohol concentration. Drivers cannot drink any alcohol for eight hours following the accident and may only consume alcohol after the test has been administered.

A Queens Truck Accident Attorney Can Help

Located in New York, Gacovino, Lake & Associates represents clients nationwide in various areas of personal injury law. When taking on a truck accident case, their experienced team of lawyers will establish all parties that may be liable for the accident, procure various forms of evidence, secure expert witness testimony and ensure you receive complete compensation for your injuries. Gracovino, Lake & Associates have a proven track record negotiating settlements and courtroom litigation. For a complementary consultation, you should call 1-800-246- 4878 today.

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