Becoming a truck driver is a great career move, providing stable work with great wages. But you can’t just hop in a truck and start driving. You’ll need to complete requisite training and be prepared for required drug and alcohol tests based on standards from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
The Department of Transportation’s required drug and alcohol tests might seem annoying, but they ensure that the trucking industry remains safe for drivers, employers, and civilians on the roads. Consortium Pool, one of the nation’s leading drug and alcohol testing consortiums, helps commercial trucking companies and self-owned and operated truckers stay compliant with the DOT. And to help educate you on those requirements, we’re running through the six types of drug and alcohol tests that can be required by the DOT.
1. Pre-Employment Drug And Alcohol Tests
Before you start you career as a truck driver, you’ll be required to complete a pre-employment drug test. While alcohol tests are not required by the DOT, many employers will also request an alcohol test. It might seem excessive to complete the tests before you start your career, but remember, it’s important for your employer to ensure their business is compliant with the DOT and the roads remain safe.
Once you receive negative results on your pre-employment tests, you’ll be able to begin your career in a safety-sensitive position like truck driving.
2. Reasonable Suspicion/Cause Drug And Alcohol Tests
If your employer suspects you’re using drugs or alcohol while on the job, you might be required to complete a reasonable suspicion/cause drug or alcohol test. As a driver, it’s important to remember that these types of tests cannot be forced upon you. They can only be required when a trained supervisor has reasonable suspicion that you’re under the influence while on the job.
If your boss notices abnormal behavior like slurred speech, erratic behavior, or the smell of alcohol on your breath, you may be required to undergo a reasonable suspicion/cause test.
For more on drug and alcohol testing, check out the blogs below:
- DOT Drug And Alcohol Testing: What About Medical Marijuana?
- Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Use: What To Look For In Your Employees
- Urine Drug Testing FAQ
3. Random Drug And Alcohol Tests
The DOT also requires random drug and alcohol tests, ensuring that drivers and other workers don’t try to “beat the system” by using drugs or alcohol when they believe they won’t have tests.
Prior to your test, you’ll be notified you have been selected for a random test and will be provided ample time to stop performing your job to report to a testing location. Failure to arrive for your test could be considered a refusal to complete the test, jeopardizing your job. Thankfully, the DOT requires that employers implement a truly randomized selection process, ensuring you aren’t singled-out by your employer for wrongful reasons.
4. Return-To-Duty Drug And Alcohol Tests
If you’re found in violation of the DOT’s drug or alcohol use policies, you’ll be required to take a return-to-duty drug or alcohol test before returning to your job. After passing your required return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol tests, you’ll be subject to follow-up testing for a period of time.
5. Follow-Up Drug And Alcohol Tests
Follow-up tests drug and alcohol tests are required after passing a return-to-duty test. You’ll be required to undergo at least six tests in the first 12 months following your return to the job, with the specific number of tests determined by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).
The SAP will determine how many follow-up tests you’re require to take, and what they will test for. However, your employer is required to ensure the tests are completed following DOT standards.
6. Post-Accident Drug And Alcohol Tests
If you have been involved in an accident at the workplace, like a car crash, you will be required to undergo post-accident drug and alcohol tests. These tests ensure that your accident was not caused by your own drug and/or alcohol use.
If you’re looking for DOT compliant drug and alcohol testing services, consider Consortium Pool. Our drug and alcohol testing consortium includes testing facilities nationwide, ready to complete any type of test required by your business or the DOT. Contact Consortium Pool today for more information on our services.