Did a drunk trucker cause your truck accident? Here, we discuss when a trucker is considered legally drunk and who may be liable to compensate you.

Drinking and Driving a Truck: A Deadly Combination

While everyone knows that driving when intoxicated is dangerous, many motorists still get behind the wheel when they are drunk. The dangers are even greater if the driver is behind the wheel of a massive big-rig truck, which can cause much more catastrophic injuries or death due to the greater size and weight of the truck. If you or a loved one was injured in a drunk driving accident caused by the trucker, you need to hold him—and other liable parties—responsible for compensating you for your injuries.

Laws Governing Truckers and Alcohol

When it comes to drinking and driving, commercial truck drivers are held to a higher standard than passenger vehicle drivers due to the more devastating consequences of a drunk driving accident involving a truck. Under Washington state and federal regulations, truck drivers are considered drunk if their blood alcohol content is 0.04 percent or higher. Under federal laws, a truck driver may be required to submit to blood alcohol testing under these circumstances:

  • The accident involved fatalities.
  • A vehicle involved in the wreck suffered disabling damage, and the trucker was issued a traffic citation.
  • A victim of the accident was transported to the hospital, and the truck driver received a ticket.

How Does Alcohol Consumption Impair a Truck Driver’s Ability to Drive?

Driving when drunk can reduce a trucker’s driving abilities in many ways that can result in him causing a wreck. Here are skills and abilities vital to safe driving that can be negatively affected by alcohol:

  • Reaction time
  • Judgment, which can lead to reckless behaviors
  • Concentration
  • Alertness
  • Comprehension of surroundings, traffic signs, and signals
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Fatigue

Who Could Be Liable for Compensating You When a Drunk Trucker Causes Your Accident?

It is crucial to keep in mind that you must still prove that the trucker’s intoxication was the cause of your accident. In limited cases, this may not be the reason that a wreck occurred. Assuming that you can establish this, the following parties could be responsible for compensating you:

  • Negligent truck driver
  • Trucking company under vicarious liability or a separate legal claim, such as negligent hiring or retention
  • Bar, store, or restaurant who sold the trucker the alcohol under Washington’s Dram Shop laws

At Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC, we help victims of drunk driving truck accidents obtain the compensation that they deserve from the intoxicated trucker and any other liable parties. To learn how we can assist you, call our office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.