FedEx Driver Had Chilled Vodka Supply in Truck. Words Can’t Express….

driving-delivery-truck-drunkVehicles like delivery trucks are a paradox. They’re among the largest things on the road, but they’re also invisible, in a way. We see them, but we don’t expect any surprises from them. Delivery trucks move slowly and deliberately, watching traffic with those big mirrors as they make their deliveries. We expect the drivers to know what they’re doing.

One delivery truck contained a surprise that wasn’t in one of the boxes in back. A FedEx driver in Troy, Michigan was arrested recently after driving erratically near Big Beaver. It was Black Friday, so plenty of bargain-hunters took notice.

The driver, Michael Lee Cunningham, was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .21 – more than two and a half times the legal .08 limit for most drivers, and over five times the limit for commercial drivers. It turned out he had two open vodka bottles in a cooler next to the seat.

The Drunk Driver Beside You

You might never encounter someone driving a delivery truck drunk,  but you never know who might be impaired on the road in the next lane, in front of you, or coming from behind. It could be that woman in the new SUV with kids in the back, or the guy with an old, smoky beater.

Or it could be a uniformed professional driver in a company van. Those who drink and drive regularly are often adept at concealing their habit, even from companies like FedEx that take pride in their safe drivers.

Ignition Interlocks for Peace of Mind

Ignition interlocks – car breathalyzer devices which prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking – are the law in Michigan for repeat drunk drivers and some first-time drunk drivers. Having a device on a car or truck is your assurance that the driver of that vehicle is not under the influence of alcohol. License suspensions don’t guarantee compliance, and even stiff fines and punishments sometimes don’t “take.” If public safety is the goal, an interlock is the way to go.

In some countries fleet drivers have ignition interlocks on all their trucks. It’s not a bad idea for companies who want to build trust with the public by ensuring that all their vehicles are in safe hands. Alternatively, Michigan lawmakers should mandate ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders, including all first offenders, as 30 other states do.

Sometimes we can spot drunk drivers before it’s too late. About 10,000 times a year we can’t. But preventing further drunk driving should always be our goal.