A Florida truck driver was arrested after a dangerous high-speed chase with his 18-wheeler through Houston on Saturday, November 4. According to local news outlet Fox26, the man behind the wheel was allegedly driving while intoxicated on methamphetamine.
After reports of a swerving, erratic 18-wheeler on local Houston highways, police responded quickly, pursuing the reckless big rig for 2.5 hours through Montgomery County, Harris County, and Fort Bend County.
The truck driver endangered the lives of thousands of Texans from Highway 59 to Gaston Road in Katy as he ran red lights, swerved into oncoming traffic, raced through a Kroger parking lot, and even caused a crash between passenger vehicles. Thankfully, nobody was hurt in the crash, though no other details are known at this time.
After several attempts to disable the semi, multiple agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety, were able to shoot out the front tires of the massive 18-wheeler.
The big rig driver is now booked in Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office jail. He faces two federal charges, a felony evading charge and a possession of a controlled substance charge — authorities found what is believed to be methamphetamine in the cab. Suspicious car parts were also found in the cargo.
The company that owns the truck told a Fox26 news reporter they were unsure who the driver was.
Regardless, the incident highlights a recurring issue for our nation’s commercial truck drivers: driving under the influence of drugs.
How Common is Intoxicated Truck Driving?
It is illegal to operate an 18-wheeler or other large commercial truck while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But the National Transportation Safety Board statistics show that drug use has been a significant factor in many trucking-related accidents. Up to 35% of all truck drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents have tested positive for illegal drugs.
And truck driver drug and alcohol violations surged more than 10% last year. There were 58,215 drug violations reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, which was created to prevent job-hopping among commercial drivers due to a positive drug or alcohol test.
Truck drivers MUST comply with federal and state regulations while on duty:
- Federal and state regulations prohibit truckers from using or possessing drugs and alcohol while on duty. All commercial truck and bus drivers are required to follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). In general, these regulations prohibit truckers from using or possessing substances while on duty, unless it was prescribed by a doctor.
- Commercial truck drivers must undergo drug and alcohol testing. FMSCA regulations require trucking companies to test all of their drivers for marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines and PCP. Federally-mandated testing includes pre-employment screening, post-accident screening, random testing, and more.
- Trucking companies are required to report drivers’ drug and alcohol violations to the Clearinghouse. Any company employing a CDL-holder subject to the FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing rules is required to report violations to its Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse.
If a commercial truck driver near you behaves in an unsafe manner, you can report your concerns to the FMCSA by calling the Department of Transportation’s Complaint Hotline at 1-888-DOT-SAFT or filing an online complaint with FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint Database.
Always remember to put your own safety first. It’s best to pull over safely and call 911 to report their erratic behavior.
Contact Our Undefeated Houston 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation at 888-603-3636.
Our Undefeated Houston Truck and 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers know just how dangerous this weekend’s dangerous high-speed chase was, and how fortunate it is that the intoxicated driver did not cause a catastrophic accident on our highways before he was apprehended.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck or 18-wheeler accident, please call 1-888-603-3636 or click here to send us a confidential email through our “Contact Us” form.
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