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Do Texas trucking companies have to test for drugs and alcohol?


Drunk driving has been an issue that has gotten much attention over the last several decades. Various government and private entities have spent millions of dollars on both raising awareness of the problem of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol as well as stiffening penalties for those who are caught. There are other methods of attempting to keep the roads safe from such dangers as well, for example, including regulations that require those driving commercial vehicles to undergo testing for substance use.

Commercial trucks are already dangerous enough, considering their large size and relatively unwieldy handling capabilities. Putting an intoxicated or drugged driver behind the wheel is asking for trouble. That is why federal and state regulations make it mandatory for truck drivers to be tested for illegal substances and alcohol at various points.

First, everyone applying for a job as a trucker must pass a controlled substance test before being allowed to begin work. Then, companies must also randomly test at least half of their drivers for drugs per year, and 10 percent of them annually for alcohol just before or after they drive. Also, any employer who has reasonable suspicion that a driver is working under the influence, based upon observations of his or her behavior, should test that driver. Finally, drivers must be tested after certain types of accidents, for example, after a crash resulting in a fatality and in cases where non-fatal injuries require immediate medical care away from the accident scene. The driver must also be tested if he or she is issued a traffic citation.

Unfortunately, even these regulations will not stop all drunk truck drivers. When accidents are caused by truck drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs, there may be remedies available to victims who have suffered a serious injury. In some cases, not just the driver, but the driver's employer may be held liable, especially if it didn't comply with the requisite regulations.

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