Truck drivers on drugs: absolutely NOT salubrious

Apparently, crack abusers have been picked on for quite some time when it comes to sentencing laws, but that’s all behind them now thanks to the recently passed federal Fair Sentencing Act. Of course, Mother understands and appreciates the fair’s fair concept perfectly, so would be the last to complain about more fairness in penalties for crack vs. regular cocaine.

But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to complain. Oh no! Because she has recently heard that the one and only crack addict it’s been her misfortune to be acquainted with (briefly, thank goodness) is not only out of jail already, he’s back on the road with you and me driving a truck, and not some puny little pickup either, but a big truck, one that requires a Commercial Driver’s License and a theoretical zero tolerance policy for drugs. And this is after two previous accidents that involved wiping out a truck and a car on two separate occasions, evading the drug test after one and testing positive for cocaine after the other. Oh, and earning generous insurance settlements in the process.

So what she wants to complain about today is this: never mind putting them in jail, could we just get them off the road please?

OK, so all of this is strictly hearsay (again, thank goodness), and pretty hard to believe I might add, so I have to admit that considerably more scientific research ought to be done before I scare the pants off my dear blog readers. And since the last thing in the world I want to do is get close enough to this particular crackhead to confirm or refute this particular rumor, I believe I will cheat by googling instead. You don’t mind, do you?

Google results are in and sure enough, major news organizations have done the serious investigative work for me. (Thanks, guys!) Here’s a 2007 report from NBC News on GAO findings that it’s easy for truckers to cheat on drug tests:

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Oh, great! But that was three years ago, so the industry has probably cleaned up its act in the meantime, now that it knows what’s going on, right? No, wrong! Here’s a more recent account (November, 2009), from Fox News Chicago:

 Lord knows I hate to be critical, but isn’t there something seriously wrong with a state regulatory system that refuses to renew a cosmetology license for someone with a past DUI record, but has no problem renewing a CDL for a crack abuser? That’s easy. Yes. Not that we don’t appreciate your worrying about our hair, but if you don’t mind, we’d rather be the victim of an occasional bad haircut than be squashed like a bug by an 18-wheeler. So please, please, regulators, work on those priorities, would you? And hurry!

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