As if large trucks are not dangerous enough, when an intoxicated driver gets behind the wheel of a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or other large truck, the risk factors skyrocket. It is for this reason that the Maryland legislature has determined that those who hold Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs) are to be held to a different standard when it comes to drunk driving.
In Maryland, non-CDL holders are considered “drunk” under the law when they have a blood-alcohol content of .08 or greater. However, due to the risks involved with driving a large truck while intoxicated, a CDL holder’s blood-alcohol content cannot legally exceed .04. Depending on the driver, a person’s blood-alcohol content may reach .04 after just one drink.
The .04 limit applies to all commercial drivers, not just truck drivers. For example, taxi cab drivers and school bus drivers are also subject to that limit. Importantly, the prohibition on intoxicated driving is not limited to alcohol. Commercial drivers are also prohibited from operating a vehicle with any trace of an illegal drug in their system. Similarly, liability may even arise if the driver is taking prescription medication, if it can be shown that they were impaired by the medication.