Trucking Accidents

Trucking companies that hire drivers with DUI

Commercial semi-trucks can do serious damage in a traffic collision, causing life-altering injuries and permanent disability. If a driver is under the influence, the risk of a crash increases significantly. Even so, some trucking companies hire drivers with DUI convictions on their records.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a commercial truck crash, a skilled St. Louis truck accident lawyer can help you seek justice and compensation.

Why would a trucking company hire a driver with a DUI?

The commercial trucking industry requires roughly 100,000 drivers to satisfy demand, but year after year, the employment gap between the number of open jobs and the number of qualified drivers increases.

Long hours, low pay (an average of $50,000 per year), and the risk of disease from a sedentary lifestyle make long-haul trucking unappealing to many newer workers.

As fewer new truckers replace retirees, trucking carriers may find themselves in a position of having to lower their standards for employment or take on the added liability of hiring a commercial driver with a DUI conviction. Trucking companies that hire with DUI must carefully consider the risk they assume.

Trucking companies that hire with DUI may see their CSA rating drop and make it more difficult to get loads as shippers may book with carriers with higher scores.

Commercial trucking and DUI laws

Trucking carriers operating in the United States must comply with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s regulations for hiring and retaining drivers. Chief among these is ensuring that drivers do not operate fleet vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

When it comes to DUI charges, commercial truckers are held to a higher standard. A semi-truck driver is considered above the legal limit for alcohol if they have a 0.04% blood alcohol concentration, versus the 0.08% legal limit for other drivers.

Drivers convicted of a DUI may see their commercial driver’s license (CDL) suspended, meaning they cannot drive the semi. However, in some cases, a trucking company may hire a driver with a DUI if they received it in their private vehicle before obtaining a CDL.

The U.S. Department of Transportation also prohibits trucking carriers from hiring drivers convicted of certain offenses for specific amounts of time following their conviction.

What kind of liability does a commercial carrier have when hiring a DUI driver?

Commercial carriers are responsible for the actions of drivers of their fleet vehicles, including regular employees and contract drivers using their own rigs. In an accident, both the truck driver and the trucking company could be liable for damages.

A commercial truck driver with a DUI may require an SR-22 insurance policy and higher personal insurance rates. In turn, the commercial carrier may take out a higher insurance policy on the driver, which could mean that each load the driver carries could cost the company more than it would for another driver.

If the driver with the DUI does cause an accident, even if they weren’t drinking at the time, both the driver and the trucking company will look like less-sympathetic defendants if the case goes to trial. The company may be found to have engaged in negligent hiring practices and could even be assessed punitive damages.

Companies that hire truck drivers with DUI less than 5 years old

Knowing which commercial trucking carriers will hire a driver with a DUI charge less than five years old may help you avoid these trucks on the road.

If you’ve been in an accident with a trucker employed by one of these companies, your trucking accident attorney may consider the possibility that the driver was drinking or using drugs while operating the vehicle.

  • AAA Cooper
  • Midwest Motor Express
  • Oak Harbor Freight Lines
  • P & S Transportation
  • Prime, Inc.
  • Tennant Truck Lines
  • TransAm
  • Werner Enterprise
  • Wilson Trucking

Other companies could join this list. It’s always a safe bet to practice defensive driving when near a commercial vehicle on the road.

Have you been injured in a semi-truck accident?

If you’ve been hurt in a collision with a commercial truck, you may have suffered catastrophic injuries. The legal team with Langdon & Emison can help you seek the compensatory damages you deserve to cover your medical care and other losses.

We’re on your side – contact us today at (866) 931-2115 for a complimentary consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer.