FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Testing Requirements.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for regulating the trucking industry regarding the controlled alcohol and substances testing and usage. The goal is to help  Department of Transportation (DOT) organizations establish programs that can prevent injuries and accidents that may occur due to the misuse of drugs and alcohol by the drivers.
The DOT requires all FMCSA employers that are subject to the regulations to follow the drug and alcohol testing rules and guidelines as highlighted in the 49 CFR Part 40. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in penalties for the employers.

Who is Subject to the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Testing Regulations ?

Employers with drivers that meet the following are subject to the DOT Drug & Alcohol regulations.

Drivers with a gross vehicle weight rating/gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight rating/gross combination weight of 26,001 or more lbs.

Drivers that are driving vehicles designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver).

Drivers driving vehicles of any size that is used to transport hazardous materials which require the vehicle to be placarded.

Administration of the Tests

DOT testing Program for FMCSA should include the following:

Contracts with the Collection, Lab, & MRO.

Previous Drug & Alcohol history check

Policy and Procedures Manuals


Training Materials

all drivers are subject to the following tests:

• Pre-employment – The employee must get a negative DOT test result before he is permitted to drive a vehicle on public road.
• Post-accident – The employee must be subjected to DOT testing after meeting specific DOT post-accident criteria.
• Random testing – Drivers must be randomly tested all through the year. Testing rate is set by the DOT.
• Reasonable suspicion – if a trained supervisor has reasonable cause to believe that a driver might be using drugs or alcohol, they must be removed from their position and taken to have a DOT reasonable suspicion test immediately. It is crucial to conduct reasonable suspicion training for all supervisors and team leaders.
• Return-to-duty – this is required for all the drivers who received positive test results, violated any of 49 CFR Part 382 Subpart B prohibitions, or refused to take the drug test, as well as the drivers who successfully completed the return-to-duty procedure. The test would be observed directly and negative results are necessary for the drivers to resume working.
• Follow-up – this testing is required for all of the drivers who refuse the test, get positive result, or violate any of 49 CFR Part 382 Subpart B prohibitions, and successfully completed the return-to-duty procedure and have been tested negative for the return-to-duty drug tests. A substance abuse professional prescribes this testing for at least 6 tests that are directly observed in a year. It might get extended to another four years if necessary.

FMCSA Clearinghouse Regulations

the FMCSA Clearinghouse is an online database that has been established and implemented since January, 2020. This database maintains a track of all the activities related to commercial license holders testing positive for drug or alcohol misuse. 

FMCSA requires all the regulated organizations, medical review officers, substance abuse professionals to report and update the clearinghouse information.

Things the Drivers Must Know

It is essential that your drivers are aware about the importance of these tests and what to expect from the testing program. Some of the things your driver should know is what to expect from a drug test, what substances he or she will be tested for, what happens if they test positive. Your driver should receive a copy of a policy summary which should outline all regulations they are subject to as well as trainings.

It is important to ensure that your organization is following the regulations as stated by the FMCSA to maintain safety and compliance. To make sure your drug and alcohol program complies with the DOT FMCSA regulations, get in touch with us to find out more.