Georgia Truck Accident Attorney, Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer

How often do truck drivers get drug tested?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) regulates trucking companies and truck drivers. This includes regulates concerning how often truck drivers are drug tested.

There are several basic rules concerning drug and alcohol testing. First, a truck driver must take a drug test at the time of his initial employment. As § 382.301 states, “(a) Prior to the first time a driver performs safety-sensitive functions for an employer, the driver shall undergo testing for controlled substances as a condition prior to being used, unless the employer uses the exception in paragraph (b) of this section.” The exception to pre-employment screening is if the driver was (a) participating in a controlled substances testing program within the prior 30 days; (b) was either tested in the prior 6 months or subject to random testing for the prior 12 months; and (c) the employer ensures that no prior employer has notice of a failed test in the last six months.

Second, after certain types of accidents, the truck driver must receive a drug and alcohol test. A truck driver does not have to receive a screening just because he was involved in an accident. Instead, the accident must meet certain requirements. This chart is helpful for determining when a drug and alcohol test will be required.

Type of Accident Involved

 

Citation Issued to the CMV Driver

 

Test Must Be Performed by Employer

 

Human Fatality

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Human Fatality

 

No

 

Yes

 

Bodily Injury With Immediate Medical Treatment Away From the Scene

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Bodily Injury With Immediate Medical Treatment Away From the Scene

 

No

 

No

 

Disabling Damage to Any Motor Vehicle Requiring Tow Away

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Disabling Damage to Any Motor Vehicle Requiring Tow Away

 

No

 

No

 

 

These standards come from rule § 382.303. The rule requires a drug/alcohol test (a) if the is a human fatality, (b) if the driver receives a citation and a person is taken from the scene for emergency medical treatment, or (c) if the driver receives a citation and a vehicle has disabling damage requiring a tow truck.

Third, the FMCSR require truck drivers to submit to random alcohol and drug tests. The percentage of truck drivers that a company must test is subject to change each year. In the original code section, § 382.305, was 10% of drivers tested for alcohol in a year and 25% for drug tests within a year.

The drugs that are tested in these screenings include the following:

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

The minimum amounts permitted in a driver’s system are available on the FMCSA website.

There are other less common scenarios when a truck driver may be required to submit to a drug or alcohol test. These includes reasonable suspicion, and after a truck driver has failed or refused a test and submitted to a program.

A knowledgeable Georgia truck accident lawyer, like our firm, can help you navigate all aspects of your case, including these. We specialize in truck accidents. We service all of Georgia, including Georgia, Atlanta, Gainesville, Columbus, Savannah, Albany, Macon, Decatur, Augusta, Athens, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Johns Creek, Warner Robbins, Alpharetta, Marietta, Smyrna, Dunwoody, Peachtree City, East Point, Newnan, Douglasville, Kennesaw, LaGrange, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Acworth, Cartersville, Snellville, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, DeKalb County, Cobb County, Cherokee County, Henry County, Richmond County, Muscogee County, Hall County, Forsyth County, Bibb County, Paulding County, Douglas County, Coweta County, and Clarke County.