Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Testing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established on January 1, 2000 as a result of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (FMCSA).

FMCSA is focused on large vehicles (trucks and buses) and issues rules and regulations to limit the amount of accidents, fatalities and other dangerous situations involving not only the operators but other passengers and vehicles on the road.

Their focus is on commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) traveling America’s highways, those with a CDL licence who are operating them and the employers managing them.

When do DOT regulations apply to CDL drivers?

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

This could include:

  • 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 several points of a driver’s tenure:

It’s important to note:  even if a driver is driving a noncommercial vehicle and receives certain 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

If you’re a motor carrier or employing CDL drivers, you will need to post educational materials with your policies about alcohol and drug use, as well as the DOT rules. This is a FMCSA regulation.

The educational pieces must include details about:

  • 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 write these materials. To get help, give us a call.

What would disqualify a CDL driver from driving?

There are several circumstances outlined by the DOT that would cause for a CMV driver to be disqualified from driving and suspended for up to 1 year, or possibly 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 ready for your safety audit?

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

Additionally, the following situations will automatically fail you in an audit:

  • 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 can help you design and implement a testing program and provide convenient drug and alcohol testing solutions for your drivers so their likeliness to refuse the test or not participate is low.