Many people in the Bay Area probably know that a person who operates a vehicle when their blood alcohol content is over .08 is running the risk of serious penalties. For the average driver, .08 is considered legally drunk in California, and someone who chooses to drive while drunk may face a criminal charge. And, if they cause an accident, they may be held financially accountable to those who suffer injuries.
However, perhaps because they are driving large, complicated vehicles, commercial truckers are considered over the limit if their blood alcohol content exceeds .04 while they are traveling in a commercial vehicle. If drivers break this rule, they may at a minimum be putting their right to driver commercial vehicles at risk.
There is some science behind this more stringent standard. For instance, a driver who has .05 BAC may think he is just a little buzzed and okay to operate his vehicle. The reality, though, is that a person at .05 will likely have a slower reaction time and may have problems focusing on what is happening on the road ahead. Steering straight may also be difficult.
When it comes to large commercial vehicles, even a minor misstep due to being under the influence can cause a disastrous truck accident. After such accidents, those who were hurt by a drunk truck driver, or even a driver who was operating with over .04 BAC, can recover compensation for their injuries. They may do so by filing a personal injury lawsuit seeking to hold the driver and her trucking company financially accountable for their injuries.