USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Random Testing

Q1. Testing Pool Inclusions:  Can an employer include non-CDL drivers, who operate CMVs with 18,000 lbs. GVWR, in the DOT random testing pools?

A1. No, an employer may not include non-CDL drivers in the DOT random testing pool. Please see 49 CFR 40.347 (B) (2) The DOT and FMCSA drug and alcohol testing regulations apply to any person who operates a CMV, as defined in 382.107, in intrastate or interstate commerce and is subject to the CDL requirements of 9 CFR Part 383. An employer may perform testing beyond that required by the DOT rules, but the employer may not represent such testing as a DOT test and must place non-DOT covered employee drug and alcohol testing in a pool that is completely separate from the DOT covered testing pool.  See 382.305 Question 15.

Q2. Random Testing Selection Period:  A motor carrier conducts or administers a DOT random test on a driver that was selected in the fourth quarter of the year, but the test was not verified by the medical review officer (MRO) until the next year. What year does this DOT random test count towards?

The test will count towards the MIS results for the year during which the specimen was collected, and not when the test was verified.

Q3. Random Testing Selection Period:  A driver that was selected in the first quarter but was tested on April 4. Is the motor carrier in violation for not testing the driver in the selection period they were selected, since the first quarter selection runs from January 1 to March 31? Also, does this random test count towards the first quarter or second quarter?

A3. Yes, the motor carrier is in violation because the driver was not tested in the selection period he/she was selected, as is required by 49 CFR 382.305(i)(3).  However, the test will count towards the motor carrier meeting their minimum random testing requirements of 25% for DOT random controlled substance testing and 10% for DOT random alcohol testing. Please see 49 CFR 382.305(b)(1)(2).

Q4. Requirements While Not Performing Safety-Sensitive Functions:  A CDL driver is selected for a random drug test and the employer directs the driver to be tested when he was (off duty) not performing a safety-sensitive function.  The collection site instructs the driver to submit to a random drug test and a random alcohol test.  The driver tests positive for the random alcohol test.  Is the driver required to undergo the return-to-duty process before performing safety sensitive duties again as a result of the positive alcohol test?

A4. No, 49 CFR 382.305(m) states that “A driver shall only be tested for alcohol while the driver is performing safety-sensitive functions, just before the driver is to perform safety-sensitive functions, or just after the driver has ceased performing such functions.” As such, the test was improper. The driver does not have to complete the return-to-duty process. The employer must cancel the improper alcohol test, documenting for the record the circumstances resulting in the cancellation.

Q5. Determination of DOT Agency Random Testing Pool:  An employee is subject to the random testing rules of more than one DOT agency (e.g., PHMSA & FMCSA)  How is it  determined which DOT random testing pool \, when a driver works for both PHMSA & FMCSA or is dual-agency employee?

If an employee performs safety-sensitive functions that would subject him to the DOT testing programs of more than one DOT agency, the employee shall be subject to random alcohol and/or controlled substances testing at the annual percentage rate established for the calendar year by  the DOT agency regulating more than 50% of  the employee’s safety-sensitive work as per 49 CFR 382.305 (n) (0) .This situation may occur where an employee performs both CDL functions and pipeline maintenance functions for a DOT-regulated employer.

Q6. If an employee performs safety-sensitive functions for two different employers, is the employee  subject to each of the employer’s DOT drug and alcohol testing programs?

. Yes, under 49 CFR 382.305 question 8, the driver must be in DOT random for each employer they are employed with.

Q7. Part-Time Drivers:  Do part-time CDL drivers need to be in an employer’s DOT random testing pool?

Yes, all CDL drivers of CMVs must be included in the DOT random pool at all times. [382.305, Question 2].

Q8. Management of Drug and Alcohol Testing:  Does an employer have to join a consortium/pool in order to have its drivers be random drug tested, or can this program be managed by the employer?

If an employer has more than one CDL driver/employee subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing, the employer may manage its random testing program.  Companies with only one CDL driver (e.g., owner-operators) who are not leased to another motor carrier, are required to place the driver in a consortium for random testing purposes. [382.305, Question 11].

Q9. Frequency of Selection:  How often should selections take place under an employer’s random testing program?

Part 382 requires that random testing be spread reasonably throughout the calendar year. [382.305(k)(2)]  Random tests must be unannounced. Further answers on random test selection may be found at the Office of Drug and Alcohol and Policy (ODPAC) ODAPC’s Best Practices for DOT Random Drug and Alcohol Testing.

Q10. Alternate Drivers and Random Testing:  Can an alternate driver be selected for a DOT random test if the driver originally selected is not able to be tested during the selection period?

Yes, however, the selection of an alternate driver for random testing is only permissible if the primary driver selected will not be available for testing for the entire selection period because of long-term absence due to layoff, illness, injury, vacation or other circumstances.  Please see [382.305, Question 18].

Q11. Multiple Locations and Random Testing:  Can an employer make random drug and alcohol testing selections by terminal if the company has multiple locations?

A11. Yes. If a random selection is done based on locations or terminals, a two-stage selection process must be utilized. The first selection would be made by the locations and the second selection would be of those employees at the location(s) selected. The selections must ensure that each employee in the pool has an equal chance of being selected and tested, no matter where the employee is located. [382.305, Question 7]

Last updated: Tuesday, July 12, 2022