State and federal government agencies have separate, but identical, drug testing requirements for truck drivers in Florida. These requirements include different types of testing as well as testing for different illicit and prescription drugs.
Drug Testing Requirements for Florida CDL Truck Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) mandates drug tests for all commercial truck drivers under the following circumstances:
- Before hiring you. Your prospective employer, as a commercially licensed truck driver, must issue you a drug test before they can hire you.
- Randomly. When you work as a commercial truck driver, your employer has an obligation to conduct regular random-drug tests. This entails testing at least 50 percent of its drivers each year, with a minimum of 10 percent of these tests being unannounced.
- After an accident. When driving a commercial truck, and an accident occurs, the law requires that you be immediately tested for drugs and alcohol testing. This testing is crucial to ensure the safety and compliance of all drivers on the road.
- Reasonable suspicion. If your employer suspects that you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can and should require you to take a drug test immediately upon request. A refusal is a violation of the FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing policy, and probably your employment contract as well.
- Return-to-duty testing: If you violated the FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing policy, then you must pass a drug test before returning to work as a commercial truck driver.
What Drugs Are Tested For?
The FMCSA and Florida law requires testing for commercial truck drivers for the following drugs:
How Are the Drug Tests Conducted?
Urine tests are the gold standard in drug testing. However, law enforcement draws blood after accidents and DUI cases as well. You don’t have an option as to what type of test you can take.
Consequences of Failing a Drug Test
If you fail a drug test as a commercial truck driver, you will face a number of consequences. These consequences include:
- Loss of your commercial driver’s license. If you fail a drug test, your commercial driver’s license will be suspended or revoked. This will prevent you from operating a commercial vehicle for a period of time, which could range from a few months to several years.
- Difficulty finding employment. Once you fail a drug test, it is difficult to find employment as a commercial truck driver. Many trucking companies have strict drug testing policies, and they pass on drivers who fail drug tests.
- Criminal charges. In some cases, you may also face criminal charges for failing a drug test. For example, if you are caught operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence of drugs, you could be charged with a DUI.
The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
In a Truckinginfo.com article titled “FMCSA Approves Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse,” explains that every truck driver who holds a CDL, and fails a drug test, or violates a drug testing policy at any time for any employer, goes into a central database forever. That database is online right now for all to see.
DOT testing requirements apply to all Florida truck drivers as well as select other employees in the transportation industry. It is important to understand the regulations that apply to you and abide by those rules.