The trucking industry is one that plays a major role in our economy. Without it, we would find stores that are inadequately stocked and companies struggling to sustain as they wouldn’t be getting the products they needed. Essentially, our truck drivers today are a necessity to our economy but it is important that they are operating these large vehicles with caution and care. That is why the majority of individuals who operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) are covered by the Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol testing.
In fact, anyone who (1) possesses a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and operates commercial motor vehicles 26,001 lbs. gross vehicle weight rating or greater, (2) operates a vehicle that carries 16 passengers or more including the driver, or (3) is required to display a DOT placard in the transportation of hazardous material is subject to drug and alcohol testing [Source: DOT].
When can an employee be tested?
According to the DOT, most of the employees who operate a commercial truck are subjected to drug and alcohol testing at the following times:
- During the pre-employment stage. When a person first applies to become a commercial truck driver, they are going to be tested prior to being hired. This allows an employer to confirm whether the potential employee is drug-free or not.
- At random times. The DOT says that these tests are “unannounced on an ongoing basis, spread reasonably throughout the calendar year, using a scientifically valid method in which each covered employee has an equal chance of being selected for testing.”
- After a truck driver has engaged in an accident. If the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) determines the collision qualifies the driver to be alcohol or drug tested, they must remain available for this testing and are not permitted to refuse the testing.
- When an employer has reasonable suspicion to alcohol or drug test an employee.DOT says this “occurs when a company official – based on their training – believes the employee shows signs of drug abuse and/or alcohol misuse.”
- Return to duty. If you have violated the prohibited drug & alcohol rules, DOT says that “you are required to take a drug and/or alcohol test before returning to safety-sensitive functions for any DOT regulated employer. You are subject to unannounced follow-up testing at least 6 times in the first 12 months following your return to active safety-sensitive service.” These return-to-duty tests will be conducted under direct observation.
Drunk driving is heavily frowned upon and if you caused a DUI accident in Texas while operating a commercial motor vehicle, it is essential you hire a truck accident lawyer in McAllen immediately.
All truck drivers, along with other motorists who occupy the roadway, must always avoid getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any type of drug that can impair their judgement. Certain prescription medications are known to cause drowsiness and other effects that impact a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle so these should be avoided as well. In the event you are a truck driver who was involved in a wreck in or nearby to McAllen, Texas, and you were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, it is important for you to retain legal aid immediately.
USAttorneys.com works with some of the best truck crash attorneys in McAllen, TX and would be happy to connect you with a professional who is going to take the time to listen to your side of the story and help you in any way they can.