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Dec 05 Written by 

The Quickest Overview Of FMCSA Drug And Alcohol Testing Regulations

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) drug and alcohol testing regulations are around 127 pages long. For any transportation manager in the trucking industry, that’s a lot to process. Luckily, we put together the quickest overview ever. 

If you find yourself in a new role and you're learning for the first time, read the complete DOT and FMCSA regulations at least once. The Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC) is the best source for official information. Then, use this as a reference to help you solidify your understanding. 

FMCSA Covered Employees

These are the employees that are subject to the FMCSA drug and alcohol testing regulations 49 CFR Part 382:

A CDL holder who drives a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). A CMV has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, or designed to transport 16 or more occupants (to include the driver), or is of any size and is used in the transport of hazardous materials that require the vehicle to be placarded.  

When To Drug Test

  • Pre-employment
  • Random
  • Reasonable Suspicion
  • Post-accident
  • Return-to-duty
  • Follow-up

When To Alcohol Test

  • Pre-employment (optional)
  • Random
  • Reasonable Suspicion
  • Post-accident
  • Return-to-duty
  • Follow-up

When A Driver Needs To Take A Post-Accident Test

An employee needs to take a post-accident drug and alcohol test if there is an accident that involves a death. It’s also required in accidents where one or more motor vehicles are towed from the scene or when someone is treated medically away from the scene, and a citation is issued to the CMV driver. 

Table for §382.303 Post Accident Testing
Type of accident involved Citation issued to the CMV driver Test must be performed
i. Human fatality

YES

NO

YES

YES

ii. Bodily injury with immediate medical treatment away from the scene

YES

NO

YES 

NO

iii. Disabling damage to any motor vehicle requiring tow away

YES

NO

YES 

NO

 

Reasonable-Suspicion Determination

One trained supervisor or company official can make the decision for an employee to have a drug or alcohol test. Base the decision on specific, contemporaneous, and articulable observations. This includes the appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors of the employee. Any observations of the senses (sight, hear, smell). 

Pre-duty Alcohol Use

An employee cannot consume alcohol within four hours before driving. 

Actions For Breath Alcohol Tests 0.02 - 0.039

If an employee has a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.02 - 0.039, they cannot drive until the next day. This includes the start of the employee’s next scheduled duty period, but not less than 24 hours following the test. 

Other Alcohol Restrictions

Prohibit drivers from using alcohol for eight hours following an accident (defined above). Also, prohibit drivers from using alcohol until they've undergone a post-accident alcohol test. Choose whichever scenario comes first. 

Employee Training

You must provide educational materials explaining drug and alcohol regulatory requirements. Also, they must include the employer’s policies and procedures for meeting these. Distribute these materials to the employees and make sure they’re accessible.

Supervisor Training

To make reasonable suspicion drug test determinations, supervisors need one hour of training. They also need one hour of training for alcohol test determinations.

You should have a solid understanding of the DOT and FMCSA drug and alcohol testing regulations. Remember when to drug test drivers, their alcohol restrictions, and training requirements. 

Need a more detailed guide?


Download the free Trucking Guide

Source: https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/dot-agencyuscg-drug-and-alcohol-program-facts 

902 Last modified on Monday, 05 March 2018
Hagen DeRouen

Co-founder & CEO at Screensoft. 5+ years experience with employment screening program management and guidance. Certifications including FCRA basic, MRO assistant, and professional collector trainer. 

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