Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than a noncommercial driver. For example, did you know that commercial drivers cannot drink within four hours of driving a commercial vehicle? Additionally, they may not have a BAC of .04 or higher while they're behind the wheel. They must submit to alcohol tests randomly after a crash and if there is reasonable suspicion that they may have be intoxicated.
Why is that important? If the commercial driver who hit you had a high BAC, even if it was under .08, he or she may be held accountable for your crash. These drivers face harsher criminal penalties if they are caught drinking and driving than the average person and could lose their right to drive a commercial vehicle. That could cost them their jobs.
How can you identify a driver who may be intoxicated?
Look at how the driver is moving the vehicle. Is he or she weaving in or out of the lane? Does the driver forget to use turn signals? Does he or she speed or take risks that drivers wouldn't normally take? If so, the driver could be driving while distracted, intoxicated or drowsy. All three of these situations are dangerous for the people around the commercial vehicle.
If you are struck by a commercial vehicle because a driver did not follow the federal regulations, you can file a claim against the driver. The criminal case against the driver does not affect your ability to file a claim, but it may help your claim if the driver is found guilty of a DUI.
Source: FindLaw, "Commercial DUI Regulations," accessed July 21, 2017