The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was created to minimize the amount of commercial motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths. To hold or obtain a commercial driver’s license ,CDL, a driver must pass drug and alcohol tests periodically. Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious problem and an occupational safety risk.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
FMCSA regulations require CDL holders to pass a urine or a breath test for drugs or alcohol. This includes anyone who owns, drives or leases a commercial vehicle. The employers themselves are responsible for conducting testing.
Times for Testing
CDL holders must pass random tests while on the job, upon observed reasonable suspicion of substance abuse, after an accident occurs, and before they return to work after a drug- or alcohol-related suspension.
Special Rules for Alcohol
Alcohol is a legal substance and therefore drivers can consume it when not working, but there are restrictions. A driver may not drink while operating a vehicle, may not have a blood alcohol level of greater than 0.04 percent and may not drive within four hours of drinking alcohol.
The FMSCA tests for marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, opiates and PCP. Because these drugs are illegal and controlled substances, all use is banned, on- or off-duty.
If a driver tests positive for drugs or alcohol, she is removed from her post and must undergo an evaluation from a substance abuse professional and any necessary rehabilitation. The length of suspension is determined based on the nature of the offense. The driver must also pass a return-to-work drug and alcohol test.