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Commercial drivers face tougher DUI regulations

Many North Carolina residents already know that driving while drunk or drugged is illegal in this state. It is also an extremely dangerous thing to do, especially if one is driving a large truck or other type of commercial vehicle.

What many people might not realize, however, is that commercial drivers who are subject to federal regulations governing motor vehicles are subject to even tougher standards with respect to drunk driving that ordinary drivers do not have to follow.

Perhaps most importantly, commercial drivers are considered "impaired" under federal regulations if they have .04 BAC in their systems. While some drivers who violate this limit may face additional penalties depending on the state in which they were driving, all of them will be subject to being barred from driving a commercial vehicle.

Also, unlike in many states, a driver who simply refuses to take a test will be deemed to have violated the .04 BAC limit and punished accordingly under federal law. Again, the federal prohibition on driving a commercial vehicle for refusing or blood or breath test is over and above any punishment that an individual state might impose.

Furthermore, federal regulations require that a commercial driver report all moving violations, including drunk driving offenses, to his or her employer.

With respect to victims of truck accidents or other accidents involving alcohol and commercial vehicles, victims can point to a violation of federal drug and alcohol regulations as evidence that a commercial driver was negligent. Doing so can in turn help a victim or a victim's family secure the compensation that they both need and deserve.

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