FMCSA New Entrant Examinations

Items that FMCSA Checks on New Entrant Examinations

New entrants have an examination by FMCSA within 18 months.  It is important to comply with DOT drug and acohol testing regulations.  The new entrant examinations alway check the following and these are automatic failures:

1. Failing to implement an alcohol and/or controlled substances testing program (domestic and foreign motor carriers, respectively) (49 CFR Parts 382.115(a) and 382.115(b))

2. Using a driver known to have an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater to perform a safety-sensitive function (49 CFR Part 382.201)

3. Using a driver who has refused to submit to an alcohol or controlled substances test as required and has not completed the return-to-duty process

4. Using a driver known to have tested positive for a controlled substance who has not successfully completed the return-to-duty process

5. Failing to implement a random controlled substance and/or alcohol testing program

Here is a checklist for compliance:

  • Pre-employment—must have negative results before driving (controlled substances only)
  • Random program—test drivers at a minimum annual percentage rate of 10% of the number of drivers for alcohol testing, and 50% for controlled substances testing. Provide annual and semi-annual summaries.
  • Post-accident—must be alcohol-tested if citation received within eight hours of crash and must be drug tested if received within 32 hours of crash. Include statement on file of why tests were late or not conducted. After eight hours, cease all testing attempts for alcohol. After 32 hours, cease all attempts for drug testing.
  • Reasonable suspicion—training for supervisors, with 60 minutes for controlled substances and 60 minutes for alcohol
  • Return to duty—must have negative result before driving again if driver receives positive test result
  • Follow-up—minimum of six tests must be conducted in the first 12 months, and the driver may also be subject to follow-up tests during the 48 months of safety-sensitive duty following the first 12-month period
  • SAP Referrals—required to provide two if driver is terminated for positive test result
  • Recordkeeping requirements—maintain records of alcohol misuse and controlled substances use prevention programs in a secure location with controlled access. If requested by the FMCSA, records must be made available within two business days. Keep records of positive results and refusals for five years; records of collection for two years; negative/canceled drug tests and alcohol tests

A New Entrant will AUTOMATICALLY FAIL the Safety Audit for violations related to:

Alcohol and Drug Violations

  • No alcohol and/or drug testing program.
  • No RANDOM alcohol and/or drug testing program.
  • Using a driver who refused a required alcohol or drug test.
  • Using a driver the company knows had a blood alcohol content of 0.04 or greater.
  • Using a driver who failed to complete required follow-up procedures after testing positive for drugs.
FMCSA New Entrant Examinations
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