The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller

Federal rules on drug testing that apply to Pennsylvania truckers

It's obvious why truck drivers must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while they are operating commercial vehicles. A drunk truck driver, or one under the influence of another drug, could cause terrible damage on the roads. Did you know that truck drivers are subject to drug and alcohol testing according to the regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation? This blog post will describe this requirement in a little more detail.

All truck drivers are subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing if they operate large commercial motor vehicles. This includes not only full-time drivers but also part-time, backup and intermittent drivers. Drivers from Pennsylvania, the other 49 states, and other countries are included in this requirement. Substances tested for include cocaine, opiates, marijuana, amphetamines, methamphetamines and PCP. DOT also tests for blood alcohol concentrations of 0.02 percent or greater. Truck companies are also allowed to have drug-testing programs of their own.

Truck driver supervisors are required to undergo training to identify drug and alcohol use among truck drivers. Supervisors must take 60 minutes of training to identify alcohol abuse and another 60 minutes of training to identify controlled substances use. After completing the 120 minutes of training, supervisors should be able to tell when there is a reasonable suspicion that a truck driver is improperly using drugs or alcohol.

All too frequently, truck accidents result in serious injuries to the occupants of other vehicles on the road. A truck driver's improper drug and alcohol use can increase the chances of an accident. Our legal system places emphasis on discouraging intoxicated truck driving and getting adequate compensation to victims.

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