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Overview of drug and alcohol rules

What CDL Drivers Need to Know

The United States Congress recognized the need for a drug and alcohol free transportation industry, and in 1991 passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, requiring DOT agencies to implement drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees. 49 CFR Part 40, or Part 40 as we call it, is a DOT-wide regulation that states how to conduct testing and how to return employees to safety-sensitive duties after they violate a DOT drug and alcohol regulation. Part 40 applies to all DOT-required testing, regardless of mode of transportation. For example, whether you are an airline employee covered by FAA rules or a trucking company driver covered by FMCSA rules, Part 40 procedures for collecting and testing specimens and reporting of test results apply to you. Each DOT Agency-specific regulation spells out who is subject to testing, whenand in what situations for a particular transportation industry.

Since the early 1990s, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and its predecessor agency has defined drug and alcohol testing rules and regulations for employees who drive commercial trucks and buses that require a commercial driver's license (CDL). These regulations identify who is subject to testing, when they are tested and in what situations. The regulations also impose privacy protections and restrictions on employers and service agents against the use and release of sensitive drug and alcohol testing information. The FMCSA controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations can be found at 49 CFR Part 382.

Questions?

Are you a driver with questions on drug and alcohol testing rules and regulations? Resources on this Web site can help you find answers to these common questions:

  • Who is tested?
  • Which substances are tested?
  • When does testing occur?
  • What are the testing procedures?
  • What if I fail or refuse a test?
  • What resources are available to drivers?
Updated: Thursday, December 18, 2014