Drunk Driving – An Ongoing Epidemic

It is not an overstatement to say that every week we read about, hear about or Coluccio Law is contacted by the victim of a drunk driver.  The statistics are grim. The CDC estimates 29 people die in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents each day in the United States.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver.  Sadly, every death or serious injury caused by drunk driving is preventable. One tragic death recently reported in Washington State involved a tow-truck driver who was helping a stranded truck driver load his box truck onto the flatbed of the tow truck.  Taking appropriate precautions, the tow truck driver instructed the

Will this be the new roadside test for marijuana impairment?

Whether you are for or against the legalization of marijuana—and I am not taking a position here— no one can dispute that driving a car after the use of marijuana is dangerous. Which means it’s even more dangerous to drive a big rig while under the influence of marijuana. How do you identify a stoned (truck) driver? A major problem for law enforcement is that there are few accurate roadside tools to detect marijuana impairment. Field sobriety tests are common, or simple observation techniques, have been developed to fight drunk driving. The problem is that these tests are not reliable for detecting other forms of impairment, and are easily challenged in court. In Washington State, a driver can be charged with

Guilty verdict in trial for trucker who killed 6 in highway crash

On a warm June night in 2015, a trucker cruising down down a busy highway in Tennessee didn’t slow for traffic. He never hit the brakes as his tractor-trailer slammed into a Prius at 80 mph. That car was stuck to the front grill of the truck for another 453 feet, as the truck hit seven more vehicles. Six people were killed. Four others had terrible injuries.   An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found that the truck driver hadn’t had adequate rest in the 40 hours before the crash. The report noted that the trucking company hired him without knowing he had four crashes in the three years before this incident, two of which were in commercial vehicles. The 42-year-old commercial truck driver, Benjamin Brewer, faced a number

The new clearinghouse rule that will keep dangerous truckers off the road

Last month, a semi-truck struck and killed a man near his disabled car on I-84 in Idaho. The truck driver was investigated by FMCSA: last year, a motor carrier fired that trucker for failing a random drug test. After the failed drug test, the driver didn’t comply with the required substance abuse assessment. He was disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle. And he shouldn’t have been driving on the day of that fatal semi crash on I-84. The truck driver was declared an “imminent hazard to public safety” after the crash. Starting in 2017, a new federal database will help prevent crashes caused by dangerous drivers. New Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Rule Starting in January 2017, FMCSA will maintain

Truck crash killed four students, exposes massive hole in trucker drug test

On a September evening in 2014, a tractor-trailer going over 70 mph on an Oklahoma highway veered out of the left lane. The truck driver was neither braking nor steering as the semi-truck crossed the median. That semi-truck traveled about 1100 feet before it collided with a bus on the other side of the highway. The bus was carrying about 15 softball players from a Texas college. The bus and truck crash killed four students. Everyone else was injured, including both drivers. Due to the severity of the crash and the number of fatalities, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted an independent and extensive crash investigation. Read the initial report of the investigation, released in November 2015.   Driving under

It’s time for better drug tests for truckers

Trucking companies must drug-test all applicants when hiring truck drivers. A driver must be tested again if he or she is involved in a truck accident crash that results in a serious injury or fatality. Those results are shared with The Department of Transportation (DOT), which regulates the trucking industry. Currently, The Department of Transportation (DOT) only accepts urine tests as drug tests for truckers. Last week, The Drug Free Commercial Driver Act of 2015 was introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The bill would allow the DOT to recognize hair sample drug tests for truckers. Why we need new drug tests for truckers Urinalysis not very effective in detecting drug use: it only detects drugs used


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