Why Are Truck Drivers Drug Tested?

Truck drivers operate under a series of state and federal road regulations which includes being tested for drugs. This is done because of the dangers involved in driving heavy duty vehicles in a compromised state of well-being.


In 1991, the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act was passed into law by Congress. This meant setting up of drug and alcohol testing of transportation employees to find and oversee those who were of potential danger. The Department of Education gives instructions on how the testing should be carried out and what defaulting employees must undergo before coming back to their jobs, upon failing these tests. The responsibility of defining drug and alcohol testing guidelines for truck, omnibus and other drivers who need commercial drivers’ licenses rests with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

When Are Tests Given?

Employers are allowed to carry out test for drugs when hiring drivers. A negative result must be the outcome of the test before any driver can be allowed to operate a commercial vehicle. In the event of a collision or crash, a drug test could also be carried out for the driver. The degree of seriousness of the crash determines if carrying out the test would be necessary, if a person was killed or injured because of the collision, or if the truck driver had been served a citation before undertaking that route or during their trip.

Commercial truck drivers are also to be tested at random times spanning through the course of the year as stipulated by the Department of Transportation. Prior knowledge of such random testing should not be made known to drivers and the system in selecting the drivers randomly must be methodical. Employees who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol could be subjected to testing by the employers. Knowing and identifying signs of impairment on the drivers is a duty the employers must train their supervisors on.

If you wish to know more about truck driver drug testing and it’s importance, please contact Jeff Roberts & Associates, PLLC at .

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