It’s clear just from looking at them that commercial trucks take a lot of skill to operate safely. They make wide, slow turns. It takes truck drivers a long time to increase or reduce their speed. Because of this, they can also cause very severe collisions with catastrophic injuries to the motorists and passengers in smaller vehicles.
In order to keep the roads as safe as possible, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has many rules in place restricting who can drive a truck and under what circumstances someone can legally operate a commercial vehicle.
Stricter standards for commercial drivers include a limit to how many hours they can drive, additional education and training requirements when compared with passenger vehicle drivers and even a ban on mobile phone use, regardless of the state law. Commercial drivers also get held to a much stricter standard when it comes to drinking and driving.
Commercial drivers can get arrested for half the amount of alcohol as other drivers
The standard accepted level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for impairment in most cases is .08%. Any driver who gets caught with a BAC that meets or exceeds that limit will very likely wind up charged with an impaired driving offense.
Those who get pulled over for suspected impaired driving while in control of a commercial vehicle will be subject to much greater levels of scrutiny. Their BAC must be below .04%. If their BAC exceeds this federal limit, they could wind up charged by the state and potentially ineligible for continuing to drive commercially in the future.