Many truck accidents occur because a truck driver was under the influence of a controlled substance such as cocaine or meth. There are different ways to prove that a truck driver was intoxicated. Validated drug and alcohol tests taken after the accident, within a reasonably short period of time, are generally conclusive evidence of intoxication. In addition, there may be witness testimony, such as the investigating officer or third party witnesses. Such witnesses can offer powerful testimony about the truck driver’s behavior after the accident, such as slurring, swaying, or in the case of cocaine or meth use, appearing overly anxious with glassy eyes, being unusually talkative, etc.
Obtaining Drug & Alcohol Testing After a Pennsylvania Truck Accident
Under Pennsylvania law, drivers of certain commercial vehicles which are involved in an accident will be asked to submit to a drug/alcohol test. Passed in 2003, 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3756 allows a police officer investigating a “motor carrier vehicle” or bus/school bus accident to request that the driver submit to a drug and alcohol test. A “motor vehicle carrier” is defined as a vehicle used in interstate transport that weighs at least 10,001 pounds. Failure to submit to the test is a summary offense and can result in a fine of up to $200.00.
Section 3756 provides:
(a) Testing requirement.–A police officer investigating an accident involving a motor carrier vehicle, bus, school bus or a vehicle transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded by department regulations and required to be investigated under this subchapter shall request that the driver of the vehicle submit to testing for alcohol and controlled substances. Costs for testing under this section shall be borne
by the driver’s employer.
(b) Penalty.–A driver who refuses to submit to alcohol or controlled substances testing under this section commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of up to $200.
Related Legal Articles:
- Common Claims Made in a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Trucking Accident Update: Truck Driver Rule Change
To learn more, speak to one of our Pennsylvania and New Jersey trucking accident lawyers. Call Click To Call. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.
Our attorneys serve accident victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; Kent County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.
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Published: July 5, 2012