How and when are truck drivers tested for drug use?

The first thing to know is that regardless of company policy, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all commercial vehicle drivers to undergo drug and alcohol testing. These federal testing regulations apply to all drivers who operate a vehicle requiring a commercial driver's license. Rules like these help to promote safety in the trucking industry and to reduce truck accidents in California and across the entire country.

Typical drug tests for commercial drivers look for the following substances:

-- Marijuana

-- Cocaine

-- Amphetamines

-- Opiates

-- Phencyclidine (PCP)

Before a driver can take the wheel, he or she is required by law to undergo and pass pre-employment drug screening. Further, FMCSA rules require commercial vehicle drivers to undergo random drug testing throughout their careers. The intent behind random screening is to prevent a driver who passes initial drug testing to indulge in dangerous habits post-employment. The law requires trucking companies to implement a random drug screening procedure to test employees.

Depending upon the circumstances, drivers may also be tested after a truck accident occurs. Typically, truck drivers must only be tested if a fatality occurs in the truck accident or if the commercial driver receives a citation.

Both hair follicle testing and urine testing is used for commercial drivers. Many believe that hair follicle testing is the most reliable method. As such, it may one day become the industry standard.

As you know, at least some truck accidents will happen no matter what kind of safety standards are in place. However, any attempts to reduce truck accidents are always welcome. If you are wondering what kind of legal options are available to you in the wake of an accident, a personal injury lawyer can offer you authoritative guidance and assistance.

Source: All Trucking, "Drug Testing at Trucking Companies: What You Need to Know," accessed May 16, 2017

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