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CDL Requirements for Testing Drugs and Alcohol

Commercial Drivers License holders must follow special regulations

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You're required to have a Commercial Drivers License if you operate vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers.

Here are some facts you should know about the alcohol and drug testing requirements for commercial vehicle operators:

  • Churches and other ministries with fewer than 50 drivers must comply with alcohol and drug-testing requirements.

  • The regulations apply to persons required to obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and who operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Remember, you're required to have a CDL if you operate vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds or vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers.

The regulations specifically provide for conducting the tests at certain times:

  • During the employment process.

  • Following any on-the-job accident involving the loss of life, or a moving traffic violation under state or local law.

  • Annually by selecting 25 percent of the average number of driver positions each year.

  • When an employee is suspected of being under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol.

  • Before resuming a safety-sensitive function (after rehabilitation).

  • At least six times during the first 12 months following the return to work (after rehabilitation.)

You can find additional information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(Adapted from an article in The Deacon's Bench, Volume 8, Issue 2)