FMCSA Regulation 49 CFR Part 382

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Drug testing under FMCSA regulations is required for large trucks and commercial bus’s with 16 or more passengers including the driver. National Drug Screening provides drug and alcohol testing programs and DOT compliance for owner operators, private fleets, for hire carriers, small trucking companies, bus companies as well as cities, states and towns.

All of the above mentioned FMCSA regulated employers must implement drug and alcohol testing policies. These programs must also include random testing, employee education and supervisor training. The FMCSA regulation points out all of the requirements for the drug testing program for trucks and buses operating on commercial roads in the United States.

Avoid fines and penalties, National Drug Screening can help keep your company in compliance with DOT and FMCSA drug and alcohol testing regulations.

What is a DOT Consortium?

Random testing is part of the DOT regulations for drug and alcohol testing. The consortium is when the employees or drivers from multiple companies are enrolled into one random testing pool for drug and alcohol test selections. For example, maybe 100 employers are enrolled into the consortium and collectively have 2000 drivers in this random pool. Maybe 500 of them are owner operators. The FMCSA annual random selection rate requirement of 50% for drugs and 10% for alcohol would apply to the entire 2000 drivers in the pool.

The alternative is a stand-alone random pool which has employees or drivers from only one company, perhaps 26 drivers. It is important to note that the owner operators are required to use the consortium method. We typically recommend that employers with 20+ drives use the stand-alone method for random drug and alcohol testing.

Complying with Drug Testing Regulations for Trucking & Bus Companies

49 CFR Part 382 is the FMCSA controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulation. Commercial trucks and bus drivers are subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing under this regulation as well as 49 CFR Part 40. The summary highlights of FMCSA 49 CFR Part 382 include:

Covered employee: A person who operates (i.e., drives) a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) with a gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) of 26,001 or more pounds; or is designed to transport 16 or more occupants (to include the driver); or is of any size and is used in the transport of hazardous materials that require the vehicle to be placarded. View the short video to the right to determine who is covered.

Types of tests for drugs: Pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return- to-duty, and follow-up.

Types of tests for alcohol: Pre-employment (optional), random, reasonable suspicion, post- accident, return-to-duty, and follow-up.

Definition of accident requiring testing: Any accident involving a fatality requires testing. Testing is also required in accidents in which one or more motor vehicles are towed from the scene or in which someone is treated medically away from the scene; and a citation is issued to the CMV driver.

Reasonable-suspicion determination: One trained supervisor or company official can make the decision based upon specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors of the employee.

Pre-duty alcohol use prohibitions: Four (4) hours prior to performance of duty.

Actions for BACs 0.02 – 0.039: The employee cannot be returned to duty until the next day or the start of the employee’s next regularly scheduled duty period, but not less than 24 hours following the test.

Employee Training

Employer must provide educational materials explaining drug and alcohol regulatory requirements and employer’s policies and procedures for meeting regulation requirements. Distribution to each employee of these educational materials and the employer’s policy regarding the use of drugs and alcohol is mandatory.

Supervisor Training

One-hour of training is required on the specific, contemporaneous physical, behavioral, and performance indicators of probable drug use. One-hour of training is also required on the specific, contemporaneous physical, behavioral, and performance indicators of probable alcohol use.

More Facts on FMCSA Drug Testing

Reportable employee drug and alcohol violations: Learn about the FMCSA Clearinghouse to learn requirements to report violations to FMCSA.

Fines and Penalties: Administrative penalties are imposed by the FMCSA for non-compliance with regulations outlined in parts 382 and 40, and administrative orders may be issued to ensure adherence. In specific situations, criminal penalties can also be pursued in U.S. District Court.

Testing Procedures: Employers must familiarize themselves with the comprehensive DOT drug and alcohol testing protocols outlined in 49 CFR Part 40 Subpart E – drug testing and Part 40 Subpart L  – alcohol testing. Understanding these procedures is crucial to guaranteeing that the company and its drivers are safeguarded through the correct implementation of testing processes.

Post Accident Testing Required: For certain accidents meeting FMCSA criteria drug and alcohol testing is required. Learn the specific criteria for an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce. 

Other: Drivers are prohibited from using alcohol for eight hours following an accident (as described above) or until they have undergone a post-accident alcohol test, whichever occurs first.

For questions on any of the above, please call 866-843-4545. National Drug Screening assists owner operators and trucking companies with compliance for DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations including random consortium program management. Call today for export assistance or purchase a FMCSA compliant drug and alcohol testing program online.