A man was killed and two others injured when a semi-truck hit a pickup truck parked on the shoulder of I-196 in Van Buren County, Indiana. Two men were in the pickup and one standing alongside it when the truck accident occurred. The driver of the pickup was killed after the semi driver lost control of the rig and collided with the pickup, which burst into flames.
The semi driver was arraigned for negligent homicide. Although authorities originally believed alcohol played a role, they now believe the driver may have fallen asleep while driving.
In those instances where alcohol or drugs are involved, the FMCSA has regulations in place to monitor such use or abuse. The FMCSA regulates alcohol and drug use by commercial drivers, such as the semi-truck driver above.
The alcohol rules solely prohibit use during performance. Thus, drivers of a commercial vehicle should not drive while using alcohol, while having a breath alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or higher, or within four hours after using alcohol.
The following alcohol tests are required under the FMCSA for commercial drivers:
* Post-accident - conducted after accidents on drivers whose performance could have contributed to the auto accident (as determined by a citation for a moving traffic violation) and for all fatal auto accidents even if the driver is not cited for a moving traffic violation.
* Reasonable suspicion - conducted when a trained supervisor or company official observes behavior or appearance that is characteristic of alcohol misuse.
* Random - conducted on a random unannounced basis just before, during, or just after performance of safety-sensitive functions.
* Return-to-duty and follow-up - conducted when an individual who has violated the prohibited alcohol conduct standards returns to performing safety-sensitive duties. Follow-up tests are unannounced. At least 6 tests must be conducted in the first 12 months after a driver returns to duty. Follow-up testing may be extended for up to 60 months following return to duty.
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