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Truck drivers' arrests often overlooked by agencies

Drug arrests are frequent among commercial truck drivers; even more distressing is the fact that these arrests are often left unreported to the trucking companies. State agencies in California and across the nation often fail to communicate this information, meaning that some convicted drivers are still on the road with a clean record.

It is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that sets up drug testing guidelines for trucking companies while state agencies enforce them. The FMCSA does not track driver arrests; furthermore, there is no federal requirement that state agencies inform each other or the trucking company about an arrest.

A study released by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that over 40 percent of fatally injured truck drivers are found with illegal drugs in their systems. Random drug testing doesn't catch everyone as federal law only requires 25 percent of drivers to undergo this. This means that a driver could go for a year without ever being tested.

In 2012, the Department of Transportation was ordered to create a Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a database storing the records of drivers who violated the FMCSA's drug and alcohol testing program. The National Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse "Final Rule," which will go into effect in 2020, will require employers and medical review officers to report drug violations.

Drug-impaired driving can lead to serious semi-truck accidents; victims of a tractor trailer crash may want to see a lawyer about filing an injury claim. If someone died, a lawyer may be able to help the family file a wrongful death suit. The firm may use investigators to find proof of the truck driver's negligence; the lawyer can then prepare for negotiations or litigation.

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