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Trucking industry supports stricter drunk driving laws

In an effort to reduce the number of Americans killed each year by drunk drivers, the National Transportation Safety Board recently made several recommendations calling for more stringent drunk driving laws. The recommendations were largely supported by many safety advocates and by the head of the American Trucking Association who believes stricter drunk and drugged driving penalities can help reduce the number of overall commercial vehicle accidents.

While education efforst, hefty fines and stiff penalities have helped deter many drivers from drinking and driving, thousands of Americans are still injured and die each year in drunk driving-related accidents. In fact, according to NTSB statistics, in America one person is killed every hour and another 20 injured as a result of a drunk driver. 

The trucking industry has strict regulations with regard to drunk driving. Truck drivers must routinely undergo mandatory alcohol and drug testing and the driver's licenses of those drivers found in violation of established policies are promptly suspended or revoked. What's more, if a truck driver is cited for use of alcohol or drugs both the driver and the trucking company at which he or she is employed face fines and penalties. 

The most-recent NTSB recommendations aimed to stop drunk driving include lowering the legal blood alcohol limit to 0.05. Research proves that an individual with a BAC of 0.05 experiences a decline in their ability to think, reason, see and react. Another recommendation revolves around the mandatory use of ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders. The use of such devices is currently mandatory for all drunk driving offenders in 14 states, but not in Ohio.  

Many states are likely to back the NTSB recommendations and support stricter drunk driving laws. We'll continue to follow this issue and report on ways changes to drunk driving laws may impact Ohio drivers and the commercial trucking industry. 

Source: The Trucker, "NTSB issues 19 recommendations to end drunk driving; 'epidemic,' Hersman says," May 14, 2013

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