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  • § 382.103
  • § 382.107
  • § 382.109
    Preemption of State and local laws.
  • § 382.113
    Requirement for notice.
  • § 382.115
    Starting date for testing programs.
  • § 382.121
    Employee admission of alcohol and controlled substances use.
  • § 382.205
    On-duty use.
  • § 382.213
    Controlled substance use.
  • § 382.301
    Pre-employment testing.
  • § 382.303
    Post-accident testing.
  • § 382.305
    Random testing.
  • § 382.307
    Reasonable suspicion testing.
  • § 382.309
    Return-to-duty testing.
  • § 382.401
    Retention of records.
  • § 382.403
    Reporting of results in a management information system.
  • § 382.405
    Access to facilities and records.
  • § 382.413
    Inquiries for alcohol and controlled substances information from previous employers.
  • § 382.501
    Removal from safety-sensitive function.
  • § 382.503
    Required evaluation and testing.
  • § 382.507
  • § 382.601
    Employer obligation to promulgate a policy on the misuse of alcohol and use of controlled substances.
  • § 382.603
    Training for supervisors.
  • § 382.605
    Referral, evaluation, and treatment.

Part 382

Section § 382.307: Reasonable suspicion testing.

Below are the available interpretations for the given section. To return to the list of parts, use the Parts link above. The menu to the left provides a full list of sections that have interpretations. To view interpretations for a different section, click on the menu item.

The regulations text of the section can be found on the eCFR website. To view the regulations text, use the link below. For assistance, please send an email to
View regulations for Part 382

Question 1: May a reasonable suspicion alcohol test be based upon any information or observations of alcohol use or possession, other than a supervisor’s actual knowledge?

Guidance: No. Information conveyed by third parties of a driver’s alcohol use may not be the only determining factor used to conduct a reasonable suspicion test. A reasonable suspicion test may only be conducted when a trained supervisor has observed specific, contemporaneous, articulable appearance, speech, body odor, or behavior indicators of alcohol use.

Question 2: Why does §382.307(b) allow an employer to use indicators of chronic and withdrawal effects of controlled substances in the observations to conduct a controlled substances reasonable suspicion test, but does not allow similar effects of alcohol use to be used for an alcohol reasonable suspicion test?


The use of controlled substances by drivers is strictly prohibited. Because controlled substances remain present in the body for a relatively long period, withdrawal effects may indicate that the driver has used drugs in violation of the regulations, and therefore must be given a reasonable suspicion drug test.

Alcohol is generally a legal substance. Only its use or presence in sufficient concentrations while operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) is a violation of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulation. Alcohol withdrawal effects, standing alone, do not, therefore, indicate that a driver has used alcohol in violation of the regulations, and would not constitute reasonable suspicion to believe so.

Question 3: A consignee, consignor, or other party is a motor carrier employer for purposes of 49 CFR parts 382 through 399. They have trained their supervisors in accordance with 49 CFR 382.603 to conduct reasonable suspicion training on their own drivers. A driver for another motor carrier employer delivers, picks up, or has some contact with the consignee’s, consignor’s, or other party’s trained supervisor. This supervisor believes there is reasonable suspicion, based on their training, that the driver may have used a controlled substance or alcohol in violation of the regulations. May this trained consignee, consignor, or other party’s supervisor order a reasonable suspicion test of a driver the supervisor does not supervise for the employing/using motor carrier employer?


No, the trained supervisor may not order a reasonable suspicion test of a driver the supervisor does not supervise for the employing/using motor carrier employer. Motor carrier employers may not conduct reasonable suspicion testing based "on reports of a third person who has made the observations, because of that person’s possible credibility problems or lack of appropriate training."

The trained supervisor for the consignee, consignor, or other party may, however, choose to do things not required by regulation, but encouraged by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). They may inform the driver that they believe the driver may have violated Federal, State, or local regulations and advise them not to perform additional safety-sensitive work. They may contact the employing/using motor carrier employer to alert them of their reasonable suspicion and request the employing/using motor carrier employer take appropriate action. In addition, they may contact the police to request appropriate action.

Question 4: Are the reasonable suspicion testing and training requirements of §§382.307 and 382.603 applicable to an owner-operator who is both an employer and the only employee?

Guidance: No. The requirements of §§382.307 and §382.603 are not applicable to owner-operators in non-supervisory positions. §382.307 requires employers to have a driver submit to an alcohol and/or controlled substances test when the employer has reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver has violated the prohibitions of subpart B of part 382. Applying §382.307, Reasonable Suspicion Testing, to an owner-operator who is an employer and the only employee contradicts both “reason” and “suspicion” implicit in the title and the purpose of §382.307. A driver who has self-knowledge that he/she has violated the prohibitions of subpart B of part 382 is beyond mere suspicion. Furthermore, §382.603 requires “all persons designated to supervise drivers” to receive training that will enable him/her to determine whether reasonable suspicion exists to require a driver to undergo testing under §382.307. An owner-operator who does not hire or supervise other drivers is not in a supervisory position, no rare they subject to the testing requirements of §382.307. Therefore, such an owner-operator would not be subject to the training requirements of §382.603.

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