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How often do commercial truckers drive under the influence?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2022 | Truck Accidents

Many Kentucky motorists feel uneasy when sharing the road with semi-trucks, and research indicates their feelings are legitimate. When cars and trucks crash, the drivers and passengers in the cars face a high chance of suffering a serious injury or fatality due to the size and weight of the truck. However, drug abuse is also increasing among commercial truck drivers. Truckers who drive under the influence pose a serious safety threat to everyone they encounter.

According to ESR Check, data compiled during the first eight months of 2020 and 2021 show that drug infractions received by commercial truck drivers increased by almost 13% from one year to the next.

How often truckers abuse drugs

Studies show that the drugs truck drivers abuse most include marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine. Drug violations among truck drivers increased in all three categories between January and August 2020, and January and August 2021. However, they increased more in some categories than in others. More than half of the violations semi-truck drivers received were for marijuana infractions. However, there were 680 more cocaine violations during the reviewed span in 2021 than in 2020, and 147 more methamphetamine citations were given.

How substance-abusing truckers get back to work

After a drug violation, the details of a trucker’s infraction appear in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse is a database that tracks such violations. Truckers whose names appear in the clearinghouse must go through a specific return-to-duty protocol before they may resume driving a truck at the professional level.

Substance abuse is a frequent contributor to fatal and nonfatal crashes involving cars and commercial trucks. Truckers who cause crashes after abusing drugs may face serious legal and professional sanctions.