Truck Drivers’ Union Against Proposed Hair-Follicle Drug Testing

With drunk or otherwise intoxicated driving being one of the leading causes of serious and fatal truck accidents, lawmakers have started to consider new methods of drug testing truck drivers. The newest method, hair-follicle testing, has been proposed recently but is being met with some harsh criticism.

According to one news source, hair-follicle testing can detect drug use up to 90 days in the past, whereas urine testing generally can only go back a couple of weeks, depending on the drug. This could be useful in both criminal and civil contexts, when either an injured accident victim or a prosecutor wants to determine if a truck driver was under the influence at the time of an accident.

Not everyone agrees, however, that the new method of testing is a good idea. The AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD), which is essentially the truck drivers’ union, opposes the new method, claiming that it is not as scientifically accurate and also that there may be racial implications in the test’s use.

First, the TTD claims that, while urine tests have been used by Health and Human Services for the past 25 years, hair-follicle testing has yet to be approved, and there are no standards governing its use. In fact, the TTD claims that hair-follicle testing may result in a false positive if a person has been around a certain drug but has not necessarily ingested it themselves. Second, the TTD claims that the tests may be racially discriminatory against minorities with thicker, coarser hair follicles. The argument is that drugs will remain in coarser hair follicles longer than they will in average hair follicles, meaning that the look-back period for which the test will register past drug use will be longer for those with coarser hair follicles.

Truck Accidents Caused By Drunk Driving

Regardless of the method by which a truck driver is tested after an accident, the fact remains that it is against the law for a truck driver to operate his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, prescription drugs included. If an accident victim is able to show that they were injured by a drunk truck driver, they may be entitled to monetary compensation for their injuries. To learn more about drunk driving accidents under Maryland law, contact an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney.

Have You Been injured in a Drunk Driving Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to substantial monetary compensation for all that you have been through, both physically and emotionally. However, the laws surrounding common-law negligence can be confusing and counter-intuitive at times, and an attorney’s assistance is critical to a case’s viability. To learn more about Maryland truck accidents, including those caused by drunk drivers, and to speak with a dedicated attorney in your area, call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation. Calling is free and will not result in any cost to you unless we are able to recover for you in your case.

More Blog Posts:

Laurel Bus Accident Claims One Man’s Life, Injures Seven Others, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published September 17, 2015.

Weather Blamed for Recent Semi-Truck Accident, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 7, 2015.

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