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DOT Drug and Alcohol Screening Regulations and References for Motor Carriers

DOT Drug and Alcohol Screening Regulations

dot drug and alcohol screening regulations

Random Testing Rates mandated for each driver pool is currently: Drug:25% , Alcohol: 10%.  Testing rates are systematically reviewed and are subject to change by the DOT.

You can find all DOT Drug and Alcohol Screening regulations in 49 CFR, Parts 40 and 382, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations HERE.

 

Who must belong to a random screening program?

Holders of a commercial driver’s license who operate Commercial Motor Vehicles in interstate or intrastate commerce and their employers are subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations. A Commercial Motor Vehicle is defined as vehicle or a vehicle in combination with a trailer used to transport passengers or property, if the vehicle:

  • Has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more or a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more inclusive of a towed unit with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds; or
  • Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
  • Is of any size and is used to transport hazardous materials that require a DOT placard. As a general rule, you need to be in a program if you are required to have a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, to operate your vehicle.

 

Company Education and Policy Requirements

An employer for Drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle requiring a CDL must maintain detailed information about alcohol and controlled substances misuse, its drug and alcohol testing Company Policy, and testing requirements.  Employers also must provide Drivers information about how and where to get help for substance abuse problems should positive testing occur. Additionally, supervisors of Drivers are mandated by the DOT to complete 120 minutes of Reasonable-Suspicion Training. This training must include 60 minutes alcohol misuse symptoms and indicators used in making Reasonable-Suspicion determinations, and 60 minutes of drug use symptoms and indicators.

 

Choosing a Consortium/Third-Party Administrator

Given the complexity of the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing requirements, most companies hire a Consortium/Third-Party Administrator (C-TPA) to help manage their program. As a minimum, companies should look for a program that meets the DOT’s mandatory requirements. Company decision-makers should look for the following features in choosing a program:

  • Random Selections
  • Consulting
  • Company Drug and Alcohol Policy Support
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Testing at Certified Labs
  • Collection Site Management
  • Recordkeeping and Reporting Assistance
  • MRO Services

 

 When should screening be done?

Pre-Employment — Drivers are required to have a negative pre-employment drug test result before performing any safety-sensitive functions for the company, like driving a commercial vehicle.

Post-Accident — A post-accident test must be conducted when a Driver is involved in an accident that meets specific requirements.

Random — Random tests are unannounced and occur throughout the year. The actual selection of Drivers for random testing is to be made by a scientifically valid method by the entity doing the selections.

Reasonable-Suspicion — When a Driver shows signs of possibly being impaired by drugs or alcohol, a supervisor who is trained to make a reasonable-suspicion determination is to require the employee to submit to a reasonable-suspicion drug and/or alcohol test.

Return-to-Duty — A Driver with a positive test result, refusal-to-test or other prohibited conduct event must have a negative return-to-duty test result before he or she can return to safety-sensitive duties.

Follow-Up — A Driver in a follow-up testing program is required to take at least six unannounced follow-up tests during the first 12-months after resuming safety-sensitive duties and may be in a follow-up testing program for up to five years.