What Steps Must Be Taken By A Trucking Company If Their Driver Fails A Drug Or Alcohol Test Or Refuses To Take A Test?
The FMCSCA outlines four steps that must be taken after a driver tests positive or refuses to be tested. These steps include: (1) the employer must notify the driver that he or she failed the drug test and which drug was verified as positive. The results of the drug test do not have to be sent to the FMCSA but may have to be sent to a state agency depending on the state; (2) the driver must stop performing safety-sensitive functions immediately; (3) the employer must refer the driver to a substance abuse professional; and (4) the employer needs to keep all records concerning the driver’s drug and/or alcohol tests. Additionally, the employer must provide those records to all future employers of the driver (with the driver’s permission).
Before a driver can return to duty, the FMCSA has outlined 3 steps that must be taken by the driver. These steps include: (1) the substance abuse professional must determine that the driver successfully completed the treatment plan; (2) the driver must pass a return-to-duty test (includes having a negative drug test result and/or an alcohol test result of less than 0.02); and (3) after the driver returns to safety-sensitive functions, numerous unannounced test must be passed during the following 12 months. These follow-up tests are required in the substance abuse professional’s treatment plan. It is important to note that employers are not required to discipline or terminate a driver after failing or refusing a test. It is completely up to company policy. The only requirement is that the driver does not perform safety-sensitive functions until he or she has completed all of the return-to-duty requirements.