A commercial truck driver has a lot on the line if he or she decides to use drugs. Even simply using alcohol and driving while intoxicated is enough to lose a license.

Now, depending on the situation, you may just lose that license for a year — if it’s a first offense — or for longer if you have a record. Either one can be enough to derail your career, though, and it can cost you an incredible amount of money.

Even with such serious ramifications, though, experts have found that many truck drivers do use drugs. Some drink and drive. Others use controlled substances. Some use stimulants when they want to keep working and they’re tired. Others use mind-altering substances on the job. There are many different examples, and exact statistics prove a bit hard to pin down.

One thing experts did note, though, is that poor working conditions led to much of the drug use. This is not an easy job. Those long hours on the road take a toll. Drivers do not get to see their families often, or they may not feel like they even have a chance to start a family. They can get bored behind the wheel and turn to drugs as a means of escape. They may use drugs to escape the pressure and stress of all of the deadlines that they face.

Regardless of the reason, drug use is frequent, and the ramifications are real. They go well beyond some fines or a short stint behind bars. It is crucial for all those facing accusations to know what legal rights they have and what steps they can take.