There is no question that drinking and driving is a dangerous practice and that too many Massachusetts residents have been harmed in collisions involving impaired individuals. As such, the state has implemented a number of laws that penalize men and women who have been found to have driven while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, private drivers are not the only ones who are expected to abide by safe driving practices. Commercial drivers, such as those who drive large trucks, must also remain sober when they are performing their operating duties.

In fact, if a large truck is involved in a crash and either personal or property damage is suffered by a victim, the driver of the truck should be tested for alcohol or drug impairment. Under the rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the tests must be performed in a timely manner so that any consumed drugs or alcohol do not pass out of the driver’s system and render the information collected from the testing inaccurate with regard to the driver’s condition at the time of the incident.

Obtaining positive test results regarding drug or alcohol impairment may help a truck accident victim prove a claim for damages. This and other pieces of information may be used to build a strong case against a driver, commercial carrier, insurer or other party for the recovery of the victim’s losses.

Commercial drivers should never operate their trucks or rigs when their driving capabilities are impaired by alcohol, drugs, exhaustion or other serious afflictions. In the wake of a devastating accident with a large truck or commercial vehicle, a victim should take proactive steps to protect their rights and options for recouping their losses.