The Ohio State Patrol recently announced that it's cracking down on unsafe driving habits of truckers and other holders of commercial driver's license in Ohio. They are especially on the look out for those whom appear to be driving recklessly or under the influence or impairment of alcohol or drugs. According to news reports, in addition to being on the lookout for impaired truck drivers, for the OSP “[c]racking down on the biggest offenders means looking for the signs and symptoms of distracted driving. That includes talking on cell phones and texting, both which are against federal law for truckers. Also, other navigation, radios or electronics are causes of reckless driving. *** Across Ohio in 2013, there were nearly 10 thousand commercial truck crashes. Nearly 2,000 drivers and passengers were hurt or died, yet the trucking industry maintains safety is a top priority.” http://www.myfox28columbus.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/INVESTIGATORS-Troopers-Cracking-Down-on-Reckless-Rigs-59623.shtml It may look like the OSP is picking a fight with truck drivers for no real particular reason. But the statistics of recent accidents show otherwise. A fully loaded large commercial truck may weigh over 80,000 pounds. The average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3,000. A collision between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle is likely to result in serious, and even fatal, injuries. For some time now the Ohio Department of Public Safety has been keeping track of the number and type of accidents on Ohio roads, along with driver age, and other contributing factors to such accidents. The most recent data is contained in the ODPS’s annual report for the year 2013. According to the report, there were a total of 19,625 accidents involving medium to heavy trucks. Of that number, 3,930 resulted in injuries, and 176 resulted in death of at least one driver involved in the accident. http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/2013CrashFacts.pdf, at page 54. Out of all accidents that were truck related, however, only 49 were attributed to alcohol consumption. (See report at page 92). CDL holders should know that the alcohol BAC content cutoff is much lower for those holding a commercial driver’s license, than for other drivers. The cutoff is .04 BAC for a CDL, while a regular passenger vehicle driver is .08. But more importantly, the laws that apply to CDL holders are a bit different, and more confusing, than those which apply to regular drivers. If a CDL holder has been charged with impaired driving, his commercial driving status is at risk, even if he was driving a passenger vehicle rather than a commercial vehicle. B4DD has represented many truck drivers and others drivers who hold a commercial license. Our lawyers and legal staff stay up to date on the laws of commercial drivers and any applicable defenses that may help CDL holders retain their privilege to drive. So if you or anyone you know holds a CDL, and they’re under investigation for impaired or reckless driving, contact the legal team at B4DD today. http://www.bustedfordrunkdriving.com You may also call us toll free 1-844-533-B4DD (2433) or in central Ohio 614-478-8005.