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Federal law requires truckers to undergo drug and alcohol testing

Truck drivers must be qualified, rested and fully coherent in order to safely operate their massive tractor-trailers. Unfortunately, a number of large truck operators choose to drive drunk and risk the lives of thousands of people in Tennessee and across the country. As a way to minimize the risk of truck accidents caused by drunk truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates that all commercial driver’s license holders take a drug and alcohol test prior to hitting the open road.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, all part-time, full-time and intermittent commercial truck drivers must be tested for cocaine, opiates, marijuana, amphetamines and PCP. In addition to these substances, truck drivers must undergo an alcohol test to determine their blood alcohol content level. Not only should these tests be given before a trucker is hired, but they may also be required after drivers are involved in certain types of truck accidents.

When a truck driver is given a citation for an accident involving bodily injury to another person or damage to another motor vehicle, the employer must give him or her a drug and alcohol test. In accidents where a human fatality is involved, the truck driver must be tested regardless of whether he or she is cited for the incident. States are able to implement more stringent testing regulations, as long as they meet the minimum federal requirements. Truckers who refuse to take a drug and/or alcohol test or fail a test will most likely lose their ability to drive a truck. In order to regain their commercial driver’s license, the truck driver must undergo a return-to-duty process.

Commercial Carrier Journal reported that the FMCSA has set up a CDL drug and alcohol clearinghouse, which is a database that contains the test results of truck drivers across the nation. Employers and officials can log into the database and find truck drivers’ test results. This will hopefully reduce the number of negligent truck drivers on the road. 

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