According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, professional drivers and others behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) will be subject to drug and alcohol testing in certain situations. Testing may be required pre-employment, post-accident, with reasonable suspicion, upon return to duty or completely at random.
For CMV drivers, the most important thing to remember about federal regulations is that you should never refuse to test. By federal standards, failure to submit to testing is grounds for immediate termination.
Above all, a positive test or refusal to test will tarnish your reputation. Our company views your drug and controlled substance history carefully, and drug or alcohol use puts your job at risk.
The bottom line is that substance abuse hurts everyone that depends on you for support. Most CMV companies are required by law to randomly test 10 percent of drivers annually for alcohol and 25 percent for controlled substances. Do not take chances, and never assume you are exempt from testing.
Medical Marijuana, Drug Testing, and the DOT
Twenty eight states and the District of Columbia have legislation legalizing the use of medical marijuana with certain guidelines and stipulations. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued guidelines for federal prosecutors in these states.
However, officials at the Department of Transportation (DOT) have made it clear that DOJ guidelines do not have any bearing on the existing DOT drug testing program. Therefore, a Medical Review Officer (MRO) cannot consider a drug/controlled substance test as negative even if a qualified physician verifies the employee in question is authorized to use marijuana medically.
The DOT has stated that its mission is to make the public transportation system as safe as possible, and making exceptions for medical marijuana does not fall under this goal.
If you take a drug test and the result is positive, there is no turning back. The DOT has made its position on controlled substance use clear. It’s important for all CMV drivers to keep the laws in mind the laws, even if you reside in one of the 28 states where medical marijuana use is legal. Think before you risk your job and your career!
Did you know?
There are five possible times you may have to take a drug test as a CMV driver:
- Before employment
- After an accident
- At random
- With reasonable suspicion
- Upon return-to-duty
Interested in implementing drug and/or alcohol testing for your company? Contact The Safegard Group to start the planning.