Drug Testing in Trucking

What type of drugs are tested for? That's a common question, but I will answer another common one first to get it out of the way. Drug testing in not a requirement prior to getting your CDL. It is a requirement before getting hired.

Types of Drug Testing Done

The types drug and alcohol tests required for commercial drivers are:

  • Pre-employment - prior to hiring (Not alcohol)
  • Reasonable suspicion - Supervisor observes behavior that is representative of being under the influence.
  • Post-accident - Within 3 hours of an accident you must be tested
  • Random - A certain percentage of safety sensitive drivers must be tested at random.
  • Return-to-duty - When a violator who was suspended from duties returns back to safety sensitive duty.
  • Follow-up - More test that are done after the Return to Duty. Six must be done in 12 months unannounced. Can be up to 60 months.

What drugs are tested for?

Trucking companies both large and small are required by the federal government to test for several substances by urine samples.

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana (THC Metabolite)
  • Opiates (Heroin included)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Source: Alcohol and Drug Rules - FMSCA

If during the screening there is reason to believe one of the drugs is present, it goes through a more intense analysis for confirmation

Alcohol Testing

Alcohol testing can be done with Saliva devices or Breath Testing by employees of the company or contracted services. Alcohol testing is not done generally as part of a roadside inspection.

Under certain conditions a test administered by an officer is accepted but he/she must be trained in using EBT or Evidental Breath Taking devices.

After an accident, you will be required to find a place to get testing done for alcohol.

Drivers who fail the alcohol testing is required to be removed from safety-sensitive duties. They must be seen by specialist in the field and going through recommended rehabilitation or treatment before returning to duty.

More information here at the FMCSA website

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