Drunk and drugged driving are dangerous practices because alcohol and certain pharmaceutical and illegal substances can cause drivers to experience changes in the ways they react and perceive their surroundings. When a motorist causes an accident and exhibits signs of intoxication or drug use, Washington law enforcement officials may have them tested to see if they were impaired at the time they caused their crash. Drug or alcohol use while driving can support legal claims based on recklessness and negligence for the recovery of victims' accident-related losses.
Private drivers are not the only ones who may make poor choices regarding alcohol and drug use, however. Commercial drivers have also been found to have driven while intoxicated and impaired and in some cases have caused serious and fatal accidents. Commercial drivers should be screened for drug use before they are hired to drive for their employers but also may be assessed if they cause motor vehicle collisions.
When commercial drivers cause fatal accidents they must be assessed for drugs within 32 hours of their collisions and for alcohol within eight hours of their crashes. If they cause accidents shortly after receiving moving violations or citations they may also be subject to assessment for prohibited drug or alcohol use.
Evidence of drug or alcohol use at the time of a dangerous commercial vehicle crash can be an important part of a victim's case for compensation. The support of a personal injury attorney can provide guidance and help for a victim of such a tragic incident and can assist them with ensuring that they have not missed critical evidence for building their case.