Drug testing in the Transportation Industry

by Jimmy

Curious about drug use and trucking? Are you wondering if you can smoke a joint now and then while you are a trucker, or even some harder stuff? I'll shoot it to you straight. Drugs and trucking are a BIG no/no. Don't even waste your time. You may be able to mask it once or twice, but you will be found out sooner or later.

Trucking companies are required to drug test before hiring and randomly throughout the year. A "random" can take place any time, anywhere, without notice. They must drug test 25% of drivers yearly. There is a very low percentage of "dirty" drivers that are found. But any "dirty" driver does not need to be rolling down the highway. PERIOD.

Randoms are selected by the computer. Or so they say. All companies do it differently. The regulations simply say, test 25%. If the computer "picks" Joe Schmoe on Monday to be tested, and he is layed over in Possum Breath, Ar. for two days, and the nearest test site is in Little Rock, 200 miles away, they will "pick" another driver who is near a test site.

Normally, you would get a qualcomm message or cell phone call to go immediately to a certain test site. They are all over the place. One I know is in Amarillo, right along the frontage road just east of I27 that has room to park trucks. Another is here in Kingman, Az next to the hospital with truck parking.

Most are only open M-F, 8-4:30. I guess you might find one open later or on weekends. But they have to Fed/Ex the "sample" to a far away lab usually.

I have worked for companies that bring you in to a terminal under false pretenses, and then notify you once you get there to go and test at a local site. SURPRISE!

How about alcohol? That can get a little vague. If you are done for the day, and slip over to Charlies Do Drop Inn for a cold one, Legally you're OK. You are logged off duty and away from the truck. However, some companies will tell you, no alcohol allowed, period, while employed there. You cannot have alcohol on board the truck unless it is manifested. The companies way of thinking is, in case they need to swap a load, they want to ba able to roust you out of bed at 2am and do the switch. Legally you couldn't, since you are logged 'off duty'.

You will have to use your own judgement. It's best not to pop one if you stillhave hours available that day. You could be dispatched to who knows what. Those dispatchers are full of surprises. Jimmy

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