Driving under the influence has a serious effect on driving ability. When semi truck drivers drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Texas, they place everyone on the state’s roadways at risk. Research shows that on-the-job drug and alcohol abuse is increasing among commercial truck drivers and that 2021’s infractions are on track to outpace those received by truck drivers in 2020.
According to the Commercial Carrier Journal, a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in early 2020 keeps track of American truck drivers who receive infractions for using alcohol or drugs.
Trucker driver substance abuse figures
Substance abuse data from the first three months of 2021 is now available and shows an uptick in truck drivers receiving violations for marijuana use, cocaine use and alcohol use. So far in 2021, more than 360 truck drivers received alcohol-related violations. Another 54,700 received drug-related infractions. These numbers are higher than 2020’s figures through the first three months of that year.
Trucker substance abuse infractions
Information gathered since the clearinghouse first took effect in early 2020 reveals some of the most common infractions received by commercial truckers. Many violations involved truckers refusing to take drug tests. Many also had positive drug tests, refused to take alcohol tests or had elevated blood alcohol concentrations that were 0.04% or higher.
The nation is already experiencing a substantial truck driver shortage. Receiving a drug or alcohol violation is not an automatic barrier from this form of employment. Instead, truckers with alcohol or drug violations must take certain steps before they may begin driving trucks again.