I was perusing this morning's headlines and one from New Mexico jumped out at me in regard to a school district that took it upon itself to enact a zero-tolerance policy for school bus drivers who report to work with the slightest amount of alcohol in their systems.
Farmington Public Schools recently surpassed what is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration when it comes to the allowable blood alcohol content of commercial drivers. According to the regulations set forth for states, drivers must not have a BAC of 0.04 or greater, or half of the 0.08 legal limit for regular motorists in most states. Farmington is an example of a school district going above and beyond in ensuring the ultimate safety for their students.
Certainly Farmington is not alone in this regard. After all, there are similar zero-tolerance policies or standards in place all across the nation as a matter of industry pride. Still, too many news stories hit the wires about drunk school bus drivers who put at risk the lives of the students and the motoring public at-large. It's fine to say that these drivers will be harshly and swiftly dealt with. But what if that punishment is too little, too late?
My question is: why commercial drivers, especially school bus drivers, are even allowed by federal regulations to have even a minute amount of alcohol in their systems before being disqualified?