There’s nothing quite as American as going into business for yourself, and being your own boss. For some, that means starting in a vital trade, such as getting goods in America from one part to another. But to start driving as your business means you need to stay compliant with the regulations laid out by the Department of Transportation, and that includes drug testing.
For people that run big trucking companies, this is just a matter of instituting a companywide policy and ensuring drivers toe the line. But what if it’s just you and you’re starting out as a smaller, owner-operator? Here are the facts.
Drug testing for drivers is a matter of safety. A truck that gets into an accident does far more damage than a car, which makes a drunk or high truck driver the most dangerous person on the road. Drug testing is there to help prevent this.
Your first hurdle as an owner-operator is to take a pre-employment drug test. Every driver must take this test, and if you pass—that is, get a negative result for drug use—you’re now clear to hit the road. If you expand your business, you’ll need to do this every time you’re thinking of hiring a driver.
The next step is to enroll in what is called a random drug testing consortium. The DOT requires truck and bus drivers to test 50% annually drugs and 10% for alcohol. Consortium enrollment means you’re part of a “testing pool” that can be called upon at any time, to participate in a drug test, thus reducing the chances of pre-preparation to cheat the test.
Getting It Done
You need to furnish the official documents that show testing results, as well as certify that you belong to a consortium random testing pool. Make sure if you’re driving that take the time to get the tests, results, and documentation that you need to verify all these claims.
As long as you can remain compliant with these DOT regulations, you will be able to drive in the USA without any issues professionally. These guidelines are in place to ensure that drivers don’t take needless risks that impair their judgment, or reflexes, subsequently endangering other drivers on the road. Always remember that ingesting any substance, even legal substances such as alcohol, or marijuana in some states, will have a severe impact on your ability to drive efficiently and safely. Follow the rules, stay clean, and submit your test results.