How often are drug tests given to commercial truck drivers?

How often are drug tests given to commercial truck drivers?

Companies employing commercial vehicle operators bear some responsibility for the actions of drivers. Truck companies are expected to hire competent drivers and monitor their activities, according to U.S. Department of Transportation rules. Truck drivers who refuse or fail drug and alcohol tests must be pulled off the road until they satisfy federal “return-to-duty” requirements.

Truck Drivers Drug Tested During Hiring

Drug and alcohol testing must be conducted during the hiring process and randomly throughout a driver’s employment. Drivers must undergo testing in a timely manner after all fatal accidents and those involving bodily injury and serious property damage. Tests are also mandatory when a driver is suspected of substance abuse and during a year-long monitoring period after a return to duty following a failed test.

The penalty for refusing or sometimes delaying a urine test is the same as failing a drug test — a suspension of driving privileges. The alcohol and drug testing rules apply to trucking company employees, commercial truck owner-operators and part-time as well as full-time commercial driver licensed drivers.

Urine is tested for the presence of cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines and methamphetamines, Phencyclidine or PCP and opiates. A medical review officer gives truck drivers the opportunity to explain positive test results before contacting their employer.

Drug and Alcohol Testing For Truckers

Alcohol and drug testing helps determine fault in insurance and police investigations. A drugged or drunk truck driver may face criminal charges and civil allegations brought by accident victims or, in fatal accident cases, a victim’s family. Settlements and damage awards sought with the help of a personal injury lawyer cannot undo harm but can provide reparations.

The immediate and long-term losses accident victims suffer due to an intoxicated driver’s negligence are wide ranging. Quantifiable suffering may include crash-related medical costs and wage losses. Emotional trauma and the deprivation of a loved one’s companionship are not as easy to measure. However, to a civil court, are justifiable and compensable losses.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, “Federal Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations,” accessed Aug. 27, 2015