For commercial drivers (CDL), there is a great deal of educational resources on how to drive large vehicles (which often weigh more than 10,000 lbs), as well as what to do while on the road; such as taking plenty of rest stops and obeying all traffic laws. Although, there is a great deal of benefit to these platforms for commercial drivers, one should be aware that they are not the only considerations to make.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the 1991 Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, also requires the Department of Transportation agencies to integrate drug and alcohol testing for all transportation employees.
It should be noted that this inclusion falls under 49 CFR Part 40, often known as simply “Part 40.” These standards specifically relate to how testing should be conducted as well as the nature in which an agency can return employees to duties after a Department of Transportation drug and alcohol regulation has occurred.
Who is Affected by These Regulations
The following groups are directly affected by the aforementioned regulations:
- Any agency that employs CDL drivers that will drive commercial motor vehicles on public roads.
- CDL drivers themselves who operate motor vehicles on public roads.
- Interstate and Intrastate motor carriers.
- Federal, state, and local governments.
- Civic organizations, such as boy/girl scouts, disabled veteran transport, and so on.
- Faith-based organizations.
According to the Department of Transportation (49 CFR Part 40 Subpart F), the following five classes of drugs that will be tested are:
- Opiates (opium and codeine derivatives)
- Amphetamines and Methamphetamines
- Phencyclidine – PCP
- Alcohol concentration of 0.02 testing
It is equally important to note that the methodology of drug testing can also include testing for other drugs, as well as receiving specimens other than urine.
Testing for Truck Drivers
As noted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Department of Transportation drug and alcohol testing procedures can be very “extensive.” To this extent, the FMCSA website offers a number of invaluable resources that would allow drivers and agencies to understand what goes into tests, the components that are necessary for testing for the presence of drugs and alcohol, as well as what to expect during a urine test administration.
Testing Positive and Testing Refusal
In addition, the website also indicates that failure to pass a drug test or outright refusing to take one is grounds for removal of the driver from performing all driving duties involving safety-sensitivity. Admittance back into performing duties would require approval from a specified board.
All of the elements outlined above allow commercial drivers to understand the full measures that the Department of Transportation, along with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has taken in order to ensure the safety of drivers and those they come into contact with along the road. With the fast amount of freeway systems, and the influx of drivers in the United States, these measures are essential in ensuring a safer driving populace.