Federal Requirements Regarding Drug and Alcohol Testing
In 1990 the U.S. Dept. of Transportation began requiring all operators of commercial vehicles to be drug tested. In 1995 the DOT began requiring CDL holders to be alcohol tested as well. These regulations are found at 49 CFR Part 382.
What Drivers Are Covered?
All CDL drivers who operate a commercial vehicle whose:
gross vehicle weight (GVW) exceeds 26,000 lbs; or
transports hazardous material; or
transports 16 or more passengers,
are required to be part of a drug and alcohol testing program.
(Farmers who are transporting their own produce within a radius of less than 150 miles are exempt from this requirement.)
What Types Of Tests Are Required?
All CDL drivers are subject to pre-employment, post-accident, reasonable cause, random and return to duty drug and alcohol testing.
When Must CDL Drivers Begin Drug Testing?
All CDL drivers who are just getting their operating authority must be in full compliance with DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements before they begin operating a commercial vehicle.
Will Compliance Drug Testing Requirements Be Measured?
All employers of CDL drivers or owner operators are subject to a safety audit to confirm they are conducting drug and alcohol testing of covered employees. New CDL drivers will be audited for compliance within 3-6 months of their receiving DOT authority to begin operating a commercial vehicle. Any CDL driver who is found to be in non compliance will be subject to a substantial fine!