If you have just entered the truck or commercial vehicle industry, you might be concerned about some of the procedures that you will be subject to as the driver of a heavy-duty vehicle. One of these is periodical drug and alcohol testing. The Department of Transport (DOT) conducts regulatory tests for certain job types, including flight crews, train and engine conductors, armed security and commercial motor vehicle drivers. Whether someone is eligible for a drug and alcohol test is not defined by his or her job title, but the activities he or she performs on a regular basis.
What are safety-sensitive employees?
Workers that carry a responsibility for people's safety, who also require skill and mental or physical clarity in order to perform their job, qualify as "safety-sensitive employees". This means that in order to ensure that safe practices are always carried out, these employees are subject to random drug and alcohol tests.
As a truck driver, what do I need to do?
If you are a truck driver, you must refrain from consuming alcohol or taking drugs during the times that you are performing your job. You cannot legally start your job if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .04 or higher. You must also not drink any alcohol in the four hours before you are due to work.
If you fail your Department of Transport drug test, you could lose your job and face legal implications. Similarly, if you have been involved in a crash and are worried that the consequential drug test might put you in jeopardy, it's a good idea to look into your legal options.
Source: Transportation.gov, "What Employees Need To Know About DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing," accessed Oct. 20, 2017