Dealing With the Drug Testing of the Truck Drivers

Truck Driver

The potential danger is attached to large vehicles like commercial trucks. Hence, multiple laws have been officially established for the prevention of drugged driving. The truck drivers are subject to various federal and state regulations inclusive of the drug test requirement.

Take a look at the history:

In 1991, Congress had passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act. It requires the agencies of the Department of Transportation to unbuckle the drug and alcohol testing of the transportation workforce ham the safety. The act has got particular instructions bout the way such testing should happen and the way the employees can get back to their respective duties even after violating the alcohol or drug regulation that is enforced by the Department of Transportation. These specific rules distinguish the individuals who are required to be tested and the time such a test should take place.

The responsibility of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is liable for specifying the regulations concerning drug and alcohol testing for the truck drivers, bus drivers and drivers of other vehicles who need commercial driver’s license. These rules also define the individuals who are needed to be tested and when such testing must happen. The rules take in information regarding the protection of the employees’ privacy from the leak out of drug or alcohol testing information which is quite sensitive.

The individuals who should be tested are:

  • The commercial vehicles’ drivers who usually operate on the public roads and are performing safety-sensitive functions.
  • These drivers may work for full time, backup, intermittently, internationally, seasonally, locally, etc.

When should the tests be given?

The regulations released by the Department of Transportation allow employers to conduct tests for drugs according to the condition of employment. The employers should obtain a negative drug test result before providing permission to the driver to drive a commercial vehicle. Even, after a crash, a drug or alcohol test is needed. It is the accident’s severity if the test is warranted, anyone is killed or injured, the truck driver has or hasn’t got a citation.

The Department of Transportation needs to test commercial truck drivers all over the year. Random selection should be made depending on the scientifically valid reasoning, and the workforce should possess advance notice of the test. Added, employers can test particular employees where the employers suspect the employees to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The employers should train the supervisors to check and identify the symptoms of the impairment of the driver.

What if the driver is tested positive for alcohol or drug test?

In case a driver is tested positive for alcohol or drugs, or deny taking the test, or, violate the drug and alcohol regulations of the Department of Transportation, the driver should get a negative test result before he/she can get back to the work. He/she should have test results for at least 6 tests within 12 months for the continuation of the work.

The kinds of drugs that are tested:

  • Methamphetamines
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Amphetamines
  • Phencyclidine

The alcohol test is to recognize the blood-alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more.

What is meant by the positive result?

A positive result means the truck driver is tested positive for any of the above-described drug. Also, if the driver is found to have 0.04 or more blood-alcohol content, it is considered a positive result. Even, if the truck driver refuses to undergo the test, it is considered a positive result.

What happens in case of a positive test result?

A truck driver who is diagnosed positive or deny to undergo drug/alcohol test should be removed from the task of commercial motor vehicle driving immediately along with some safety-sensitive functions. He/she has to accomplish a return-to-duty process supervised by a substance abuse professional qualified under the Department of Transportation. These drivers should get a negative test result that is under direct observation of the substance abuse professional. Added, he/she should obtain 6 directly-observed negative results in a total of 12 months. This particular requirement can stretch an extra 4 years.

The requirements of private drug testing:

The employers can ask for additional testing requirements of their truck operators/drivers. The tests contain diagnose of various drugs and are different from the urine-based ones. The employer can deliver a brochure or handbook that provides the specification of these requirements and the outcomes for infringing the employer-based program.

What about legal assistance?

If anyone is injured in a truck accident occurred due to the influence of drug or alcohol, immediately get hold of a personal injury lawyer who has specialization in dealing with truck accident cases. He/she will collect evidence and determine if the truck driver and the entire trucking company follow the state and federal rules. Compensation will be settled accordingly.

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