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Drug Testing for Truck Drivers

Testing of Truck Drivers

For more than 30 years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set rules for drug and alcohol testing that covers commercial truck and bus drivers.

What Supervisors of Truckers Need to Know:

Section 332.603 require supervisors of commercial motor vehicle drivers to take specialized training relating to alcohol and drug symptoms and identification.
The regulation covers companies with more than one employee.
Owner-operators are not subject to the supervisor testing.

What Drivers Need to Know:

A. The safety regulations require testing for the following classes of substance:
1. marijuana
2. cocaine
3. opiates
4. amphetamines and methamphetamines
5. PCP

B. Who must be tested?

All commercial drivers who are operating a commercial motor vehicle or carrying more than 16 passengers must be DOT drug and alcohol tested.

C. When are tests required?

Pre-employment testing drug testing is required before an employer can permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle on a public road.

Post-accident testing is mandatory whenever a driver is involved in a fatal accident or receives a ticket from an injury accident or a vehicle disabling accident. The alcohol test must take place within eight hours in a drug test within 32 hours.

Random testing is done on an unannounced basis when the driver is “on-duty” or just before or after becoming on-duty.

Suspicion – supervisors, can require a driver to be drug or alcohol tested whenever the driver exhibits signs of drug or alcohol abuse.

Follow-up testing is required for those eligible for returning to duty. There is a maximum of five years for follow-up testing for drivers who have tested positive for a refused test.

D. Penalties:

A positive drug result or an alcohol finding of .04 or more or if a driver refuses a test driver must immediately be removed from operating in a commercial vehicle on public roadways.

A positive test on any driver can make it extremely difficult to obtain new employment or to return to work for the existing employer due to the return to duty process required.

While a motor carrier may give a driver a break, the insurance company for the trucking company will in many instances effectively prevent drivers who have failed a test from being hired or retained.

Follow-up testing is required after a failed test.

Further information: