October 28, 2019
Pitts Carr and Alex Weatherby
How Often Do Atlanta Truck Drivers Get Drug Tested?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) regulates trucking companies and truck drivers. This includes regulations concerning how often truck drivers are drug tested.
Our Atlanta, GA trucking truck accident lawyers review the basic rules concerning drug and alcohol testing for truck drivers.
Initial Employment Drug Test
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.
Drug Testing After an Accident in Atlanta
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|
|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.
Random Drug Testing for Atlanta Truck Drivers
Third, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (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:
- 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.
Contact an Experienced Atlanta Trucking Accident Attorney for Help
A knowledgeable Atlanta truck accident lawyer from our firm can help you navigate all aspects of your case, including these. Send us an online message or call (404) 442-9000 today to schedule a free consultation.