On February 15, 1994, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) issued new drug and alcohol testing requirements for commercial truck drivers and other transportation workers who perform safety-sensitive jobs. The new regulations require drug and alcohol testing for both interstate and intrastate truck drivers, and anyone else who must have a Commercial Drivers License (drivers of vehicles weighing 26,001 lbs or more, drivers transporting hazardous waste, or bus drivers). The regulations apply to any company that operates trucks to conduct business, whether the drivers are employed by the company or leased from another source.
Companies will have to conduct drug and alcohol tests under the following circumstances: pre-employment or pre-duty test before a new driver can drive for a company or an existing employee is transferred from a non-driving position to one that requires a CDL; post-accident test after a "DOT accident"--any accident that results in a death, injury, moving violation for the driver, or requires any vehicle to be towed from the scene; when the company has reasonable suspicion that the driver has used illegal drugs or alcohol; random testing; or retesting of any driver previously testing positive or refusing to be tested.
The regulations state that a driver may not use alcohol within 24 hours of a safety-sensitive function, use illegal drugs, or use prescription drugs illegally. A driver is considered to have tested positive for drugs if the result exceeds the level set by DOT, and for alcohol if the result is 0.02 or greater. A driver refusing to be tested is treated the same as a driver who tests positive--the driver is immediately removed from all safety-sensitive functions, and can be required to be evaluated by a substance abuse professional before returning to work.