Commercial truck drivers are generally subjected to drug testing during the hiring process or following a traffic accident when there may be reason to suspect drug impairment, according to federal trucking regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Below are some of the more important facts for truckers and other motorists on the road to understand about these drug testing requirements for commercial drivers.
Drug Testing for Truckers: The Facts
The facts about drug testing for commercial truckers are important for all motorists to know, a Louisville truck accident attorney notes. Here’s why.
- What trucker drug tests detect – DOT drug tests for truck drivers specifically look for the presence of alcohol and the following five types of narcotics: cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, and PCP (phencyclidine). Individual trucking companies can administer additional or more in-depth drug testing if they choose to, based on their needs and desire to limit their liability with drivers.
- When truckers fail or refuse drug testing– Drug tests that return positive results for any of the above-listed narcotics or that indicate that drivers have BACs at or above 0.04 will be considered to be failures. Similarly, refusals to submit to drug tests will also be deemed as test failures. Those who fail trucker drug tests will typically be suspended from any “safety-sensitive functions,” including driving commercial vehicles until they have successfully completed a “return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional,” according to the FMCSA.
- When employers fail to administer drug testing– Trucking companies that fail to drug test potential new hires (who will be driving commercial vehicles) and/or drivers who have been involved in certain types of truck accidents will typically be considered to have violated at least one federal trucking regulation. This, in turn, can lead to an FMCSA investigation, citations and potentially even a suspension of service/work order for the company. If a driver for that noncompliant company ends up being involved in a truck accident, the company can also be sued by victims for compensation for their injuries and losses (as noncompliance with trucking regulations can be a form of negligence for which trucking companies can be held liable).
- The push to allow for hair drug testing– Although federal regulations regarding drug testing for truckers are well-established, some are looking to change and update them. In fact, there is currently a push from some trucking safety advocates to allow for hair drug testing, instead of urine drug testing, in order to improve detection efforts and identify those who may be regular drug users/a bigger potential liability. Congress has yet to take up this issue, however.
Contact a Louisville Truck Accident Attorney at Murphy & Associates, PLC
Have you been injured in a truck accident? If so, you can get experienced help pursuing compensation and justice by contacting a trusted Louisville truck accident attorney at Murphy & Associates, PLC.
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