In the modern world, drug and alcohol tests are becoming more prevalent in businesses. While these tests may prove to be inconvenient, they are a crucial factor in keeping both truckers and commuters safe while driving.
Why Does Testing Happen?
Unfortunately, there is currently a drug and alcohol abuse problem in the United States – this means that many people are either using alcohol irresponsibly or taking illegal drugs. Both actions can result in serious impairment when on the job and may cause terrible consequences such as vehicle damage, personal injury, or even death in some serious cases.
Drug testing is used to prevent tragedies such as these from happening by ensuring that truckers and other people with Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL) are being safe on the roads. Drug testing can prevent serial users from causing danger to other truckers and civilians, it can also prevent drunk drivers from posing a threat.
When Does Testing Happen?
The first round of drug testing that a trucker will go through is during the process of earning their Commercial Driver’s License. This initial test is to verify there is no drug or alcohol abuse problem at the start. It is an important step in receiving your CDL.
The next predictable form of drug testing occurs during truck-related accidents which include those with a human fatality, those with bodily injury and a citation, and those with damage to any motor vehicle that has to be towed away with a citation.
Drug testing may also occur in four more circumstances as defined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This extension of the Department of Transportation specifies that employers must commit regular random testing of at least 2 employees. It also permits testing where reasonable suspicion is involved, meaning the employer believes that an employee has been using intoxicating substances.
The final two occurrences of drug testing are when drivers have refused to allow a drug test, tested positive, or violated the testing policy in any other way. These are deemed return-to-duty testing which allows a previous violator to return to work once they agree to test and test negative. Follow-up testing which may occur bi-monthly for a year or even up to four years with reasonable suspicion. For each of these types of tests, the driver must continue to test negative to remain employed.
How Does Testing Work?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, employers are required to perform the various instances of drug testing mentioned above. They are to perform random drug tests on 2 or more employees from a random selection at a time, and they are to take responsibility for pre-screening (testing before employment), return-to-duty, and follow-up testing as well.
Drug testing is a fairly simple process that can be completed quickly and easily and will help keep all people in America safe from substance-related accidents. The most common drug test involves urinating in a test cup and the administrator pouring the liquid into a test tube to be sent to a lab for testing. Standard drug tests check for, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine.
Alcohol testing is very simple as well and is typically conducted using a device called a breathalyzer. This machine requires you to blow into it for a short period of time, and it will determine whether you have been drinking alcohol recently. It measures any amount of alcohol concentration of 0.02 and higher.
Drug and alcohol testing are a necessary component of being employed in the United States of America, it is meant to keep everyone safe from the harm that abuse of these substances can produce. Drug and alcohol testing are part of a simple process that typically takes less than 20 minutes to complete!