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Truck drivers still prohibited from using marijuana

When traveling in Illinois, drivers no doubt pass tractor-trailers. Even just passing alongside one of these big-rigs, one cannot help but notice the sheer size difference between a passenger vehicle and an 18-wheeler. For some, even just this realization is frightening.

Many motorists in Illinois like to think that these truck drivers are all responsible, 100 percent of the time. And while this is true for a good number of truck drivers, the truth is that there are truck drivers who bend the safety rules. Some even use drugs and alcohol to either pass the time or to self-medicate to treat the pain that often accompanies sitting for long stretches of time.

Recently, several states in the U.S. even legalized the use of marijuana for recreational use. This in turn led to many wondering if the legalization of marijuana in some states would impact the Department of Transportation's long-standing regulations regarding the use of marijuana among truck drivers.

According to the DOT, while legal in some states, truck drivers are still prohibited from using marijuana. Specifically, the DOT's Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation does not permit truck drivers to use marijuana under any circumstances. This also means that even if a driver's physician has recommended the use of medical marijuana, the DOT will still not allow it.

Of course, this does not mean that all truck drivers will follow the DOT regulations. Sadly, there is many times where it is not even known these drivers are using marijuana -- or other substances -- until after a truck driver causes an accident. This is why it is important for any motorist injured in a truck accident to contact an attorney who handles truck accident cases in order to make sure the case is properly investigated.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance Notice" Jim L. Swart, accessed Feb. 7, 2013

  • Our firm handles truck accident cases involving alcohol, drug use and prescription drug use. To learn more, visit our Illinois truck accidents page.

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