Under federal rules, truck drivers are required to take drug and alcohol tests at various times during their employment, including:
- Pre-employment. Any new truck driver must pass a drug test before the transportation company can allow him to drive. A trucker can only be tested for alcohol if all employees with CDLs are required to undergo the test. If he's removed from the random testing pool for some reason for more than 30 days, he must pass a pre-screening test before driving again.
- Post-accident. A truck driver must undergo alcohol and drug testing after any accident that caused fatalities; resulted in a citation in an injury crash; or caused a vehicle to be disabled. The alcohol test must be performed within eight hours, and the drug test within 32 hours of the crash.
- Random testing. Truckers must undergo random drug testing, and could be directed to take a test report immediately for testing once receiving a request. Any delay can be regarded as a refusal and is equal to a positive test result.
- Reasonable suspicion. A DOT-trained supervisor can require a trucker to submit to alcohol or drug testing if the individual shows signs of use. The supervisor’s observations must be based on the trucker’s appearance, body odor, speech, or behaviors.
- Return-to-duty. A return-to-duty test requires direct observation and can replace a pre-employment test for truckers who have failed a drug or alcohol test or refused to take one.
- Follow-up. A substance abuse professional can require a truck driver to undergo follow-up drug or alcohol testing in addition to the random testing. This would include a minimum of six unannounced drug tests that are directly observed during the first 12 months.