Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Testing

Established on January 1, 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) stemmed from the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (FMCSA).

FMCSA places focus on large vehicles (trucks and buses) and establishes rules and regulations to limit the number of accidents, fatalities and other dangerous scenarios involving operators, passengers, and other vehicles on the road.

Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) traveling the nation’s highways are those under the highest scrutiny, those with CDL licence who operate them, and the employers managing them.

DOT regulatory applications for CDL drivers

In addition to the enforcement of strict rules and regulations regarding driver training and instruction, wellness, and timekeeping, the FMCSA has also placed regulations to manage controlled substance and alcohol use for anyone with a CDL license driving a CMV.

This includes:

  • For-hire and private companies
  • Federal, state, local, and tribal governments
  • Church and civic organizations
  • Apiarian (bee) industries

The DOT drug and DOT alcohol tests should be run during various milestones of a driver’s tenure:

  • Drug and alcohol test for pre-employment
  • Post-accident testing
  • Random drug testing
  • Reasonable suspicion drug testing
  • Return-to-duty testing
  • Follow-up testing

Important note- Even if a driver is operating a noncommercial vehicle and receives drug or alcohol convictions, it may impact the status of their CDL.

Read more about the FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing regulations.

Driver Awareness

Motor carriers and employers of CDL drivers are required to post educational materials regarding policies about alcohol and drug use in addition to the DOT rules. This is a FMCSA regulation.

The educational pieces must include details regarding:

  • who to direct drug/alcohol questions to at the company
  • clarity on who falls under the rules
  • definitions on roles within the company and who is subject to the rules
  • when and how drivers will be tested
  • what happens if there’s refusal to do testing
  • consequences for violating the rules and the effects of alcohol or drug abuse

Test Smartly Labs can help you develop these materials. All you have to do is give us a call.

Disqualifying factor for CDL drivers

Some situations outlined by the DOT would cause a CMV driver to become disqualified from driving in addition to a suspension of  up to 1 year even a lifetime:

  • Being under the influence of alcohol
  • Being under the influence of a controlled substance
  • Having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater while operating a CMV
  • Refusing to take an alcohol test

Learn more about our DOT drug test and DOT alcohol test.

Are you safety audit prepared?

Safety audits for DOT registrants must include a plan for controlled substances and alcohol use testing.

The following situations will result in an automatic audit failure:

  • Failing to implement an alcohol and/or controlled substances testing program
  • Using a driver known to have an alcohol content of 0.04 or greater to perform a safety-sensitive function
  • Using a driver who has refused to submit to an alcohol or controlled substances test
  • Using a driver known to have tested positive for a controlled substance
  • Failing to implement a random controlled substances and/or alcohol testing program

To avoid failing your audit, let Test Smartly Labs help.

We’re with you every step of the way. From design assistance to the implementation of a testing program fit for you, we’re your trusted testing partner. We also provide convenient drug and alcohol testing solutions for your drivers so their likeliness to refuse the test or participation is minimal.