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Commercial drivers held to higher drunk driving standard

Many people in Pennsylvania already know that the legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol is a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent. However, drivers of commercial vehicles and school buses are held to an even higher standard because the lives of so many others are at stake, if these individuals are driving under the influence and cause an accident.

Under Pennsylvania law, a person is not allowed to be in physical control of a commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck if that person’s blood alcohol content is 0.04 percent or above, within two hours of having operated the commercial vehicle. After all, semi-trucks often carry heavy loads or hazardous materials, meaning that a crash involving one of them has the propensity to have catastrophic effects.

In addition, Pennsylvania statutes hold that a person is not allowed to be in physical control of a school bus, if that person’s blood alcohol content is 0.02 percent or above within two hours of operating the school bus. This high standard is deemed necessary to protect the lives not just of other motorists, but also the children aboard the bus.

In the end, drivers of commercial vehicles must operate their vehicles safely, especially if they are carrying heavy loads, hazardous materials or in the case of a bus, numerous people. Should a semi-truck driver or a bus driver drive under the influence and cause an accident, the sheer size and weight of his or her vehicle can cause a great deal of damage, and could cause serious injuries or even fatalities.

Moreover, school bus drivers are tasked with transporting Pennsylvania children. Parents sending their kids to school on the bus trust the driver with their children’s lives. A drunk school bus driver could injure not only the children aboard the bus, but also others involved in the accident. Therefore, those who are concerned that they have been involved in a drunk driving accident caused by a commercial vehicle driver or school bus driver may want to seek help.