CDL Operators: Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements

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

  • The regulations apply to persons required to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) and who operate a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Churches and other ministries with fewer than 50 drivers must comply with alcohol and drug-testing requirements.

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 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.