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FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Testing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry and motor coach bus industry in the United States. Part 382 of the FMCSA regulations deals with controlled substances and alcohol use and testing. The purpose of Part 382 is to establish programs designed to help prevent accidents and injuries resulting from the misuse of alcohol or use of controlled substances by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV).

Employers and employees subject to the FMCSA Part 382 regulations for drug and alcohol testing include those with a commercial driver’s license operating one or more of the following commercial motor vehicles (trucks or bus’s):

  • With a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more lbs? OR
  • With the capacity to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver)? OR
  • Of any size that is used to transport hazardous materials which require the vehicle to be placarded?

Employers including owner operators who violate the FMCSA drug & alcohol testing program regulations may be subject to civil or criminal penalties. Fines of up to $10,000.00 per occurrence may be administered. New operators are subject to a new entrant exam to verify compliance. The New Entrant will be monitored during the initial 18-month period or operation. The FMCSA will: Conduct a Safety Audit on the New Entrant, Monitor safety performance through roadside inspections and finally Grant permanent authority, if safe.

It is critically important that the program for misuse of alcohol or use of controlled substances be in compliance, a new entrant will AUTOMATICALLY FAIL the Safety Audit for violations related to:

Alcohol and Drug Violations

  • No alcohol and/or drug testing program.
  • No RANDOM alcohol and/or drug testing program.
  • Using a driver who refused a required alcohol or drug test.
  • Using a driver the company knows had a blood alcohol content of 0.04 or greater.
  • Using a driver who failed to complete required follow-up procedures after testing positive for drugs.

US Drug Test Centers Can Help

US Drug Test Centers can help with FMCSA compliance for drug and alcohol testing programs. Our comprehensive programs include:

  • A DOT-compliant written policy
  • Drug & Alcohol Testing with Medical Review Officer (MRO)
  • Access to a nationwide network of 6,000+ collection sites
  • Pre-Employment, Post-Accident and Reasonable Suspicion testing
  • Random testing – consortium pool or stand-alone pool
  • Certificate of Enrollment
  • Federal Custody & Control Forms (CCF)
  • Employee Education
  • Supervisor Training
  • DER training
  • Post-accident support
  • Audit support
  • 24/7 emergency testing support
  • Assistance with Record Keeping
  • DOT required MIS reports
  • Online software platform with complete management of the testing program
  • All forms and paperwork needed for DOT compliance

When utilizing US Drug Test Centers for you drug & alcohol testing program, you can be confident that you are in compliance and our team will assist you with your new entrant exam or any future audit of the drug and alcohol testing program.

Random testing and reasonable suspicion testing are important components of your program. It is critical to have a knowledgeable provider to assist so that you are in compliance. Employers can be held responsible for service agent errors and resulting civil penalty actions for noncompliance even if the issues is caused by your drug testing provider.

Random Testing (382.305)

Random Testing (382.305)

DOT regulations mandate that the company establish a random drug and alcohol testing program. The FMCSA annual rate for drug testing must be 25% and the rate for alcohol testing must be 10%, based on the average number of driver positions.

Selection must be made by a scientifically valid method and testing must be spread reasonably throughout the calendar year. If the company conducts testing through a consortium, the number of drivers to be tested may be calculated based on the total number of drivers covered by the consortium.

Random alcohol testing shall only be conducted on a driver while on duty, just before driving or just after driving.

Owner operators must be enrolled into a random testing consortium. FMCSA random testing consortium will help you easily manage the random testing process for compliance with regulations for compliance with Part 382.305.

Reasonable suspicion (382.307 and 382.603)

Reasonable suspicion (382.307 and 382.603)

The company may require a driver to submit to a drug or alcohol test when reasonable suspicion exists that the driver has violated the drug use or alcohol misuse prohibitions contained in the regulations. The determination must be based on specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the appearance, behavior, speech or body odors of the driver.

The company official who makes the determination that reasonable suspicion exists must receive at least 60 minutes of training on drug use and at least an additional 60 minutes of training on alcohol misuse. The person who determines that reasonable suspicion exists must not conduct an alcohol test.

Alcohol testing for reasonable suspicion is authorized only if the observations are made and the test conducted while the driver is on duty, just before driving or just after driving.

Our line supervisor training programs are critical to successful reasonable suspicion testing. Supervisor training is a requirement of an FMCSA DOT compliant drug and alcohol program.

Other Testing Requirements

Other testing requirements for DOT FMCSA programs 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 FMCSA criteria (§382.303).
  • 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).

FMCSA DOT drug testing requires laboratory testing (49 CFR Part 40 Subpart F) for the following five classes of drugs:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates – opium and codeine derivatives
  • Amphetamines and methamphetamines
  • Phencyclidine – PCP

A driver fails a drug or alcohol test by refusing to test, testing positive to a drug test, or registering a 0.04 or greater alcohol content. All of these results require the driver to be immediately removed from performing safety-sensitive functions (i.e., driving CMVs) until successful completion of the return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional.

US Drug Test Centers serves all markets regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for drug and alcohol testing programs. Our clients include owner operators, private fleets, for hire carriers, large trucking companies, small trucking companies and bus companies both large and small. Click Here for immediate service to set up an account.