What Employers Need to Know
Generally, all CDL drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles subject to the CDL requirements on public roads in the U.S. are performing safety-sensitive functions and are subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing (§382.103). This includes all full-time, part-time, intermittent, backup and international drivers.
When are tests administered?
DOT drug and alcohol tests include:
- Pre-employment – An employer must receive a negative drug test result before permitting a CDL driver to operate a CMV (§382.301).
- Post-accident – Drug and alcohol tests may be required after crashes according to the following chart (§382.303):
|Type of Accident Involved||Citation Issued to the CMV Driver||Test Must Be Performed by Employer|
|Bodily Injury With Immediate Medical Treatment Away From the Scene||Yes||Yes|
|Bodily Injury With Immediate Medical Treatment Away From the Scene||No||No|
|Disabling Damage to Any Motor Vehicle Requiring Tow Away||Yes||Yes|
|Disabling Damage to Any Motor Vehicle Requiring Tow Away||No||No
- Random – CDL drivers must be randomly tested throughout the year (§382.305); an employer who employs only himself/herself as a driver, who is not leased to a motor carrier, shall implement a random testing program of two or more covered employees in the random testing selection pool as a member of a consortium (see §382.305 interpretation 11).
- Reasonable suspicion – Drivers who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be immediately tested (§382.307). You need to train CDL driver supervisors to detect the symptoms of driver impairment (§382.603).
- Return-to-duty – Required for drivers who tested positive, refused, or otherwise violated the prohibitions of 49 CFR Part 382 Subpart B; and who have completed the return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional. This test is directly observed, and a negative result is required before resuming driving duties (§382.309 and §40.305).
- Follow-up – Required for drivers who tested positive, refused, or otherwise violated the prohibitions of 49 CFR Part 382 Subpart B; and who have completed the return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional, and have tested negative for a return-to-duty test. This testing is prescribed by the substance abuse professional for a minimum of 6 directly observed tests in 12 months, but can be extended an additional four years (§382.311 and §40.307).