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Post-Accident Testing For DOT - FMCSA

07 Apr 2016

FMCSA Post-Accident Drug Testing is often confusing.  When is the DOT FMCSA Post Accident Test required? The company's DER's and Supervisors must pay close attention to the details of an accident report in order to determine if specific criteria is met for the DOT post accident testing to be required.  If a specific criteria for the DOT post accident testing in not met then company policy might require a non DOT post accident test for drugs and alcohol.  The DOT test should not be performed if the specific criteria is not met.  FMCSA section 382.303 outlines the criteria.    

The FMCSA requires the employer to test as soon as practicable following an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on a public road in commerce the driver:

(a) As soon as practicable following an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce, each employer shall test for alcohol for each of its surviving drivers:

(1) Who was performing safety-sensitive functions with respect to the vehicle, if the accident involved the loss of human life; or

(2) Who receives a citation within 8 hours of the occurrence under State or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, if the accident involved:

(i) Bodily injury to any person who, as a result of the injury, immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or

(ii) One or more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage as a result of the accident, requiring the motor vehicle to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

(b) As soon as practicable following an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce, each employer shall test for controlled substances for each of its surviving drivers:

(1) Who was performing safety-sensitive functions with respect to the vehicle, if the accident involved the loss of human life; or

(2) Who receives a citation within thirty-two hours of the occurrence under State or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, if the accident involved:

(i) Bodily injury to any person who, as a result of the injury, immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or

(ii) One or more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage as a result of the accident, requiring the motor vehicle to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

(c) The table below notes when a post-accident test is required to be conducted by paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (b)(1), and (b)(2) of this section:

IMPORTANT: FMCSA/DOT DOES NOT authorize or allow a post-accident test to be conducted under their authority for any other reason. Any other testing an employer would conduct would have to fall under their company/corporation policy apart from the DOT accident.

The following table notes when a FMCSA DOT post-accident test is required:

Type of accident involved?Citation issued to the CMV driverTest must be performed by employer
Human fatality

YES YES
NO YES
Bodily injury with immediate medical treatment away from the scene

YES YES
NO NO
Disabling damage to any motor vehicle requiring tow away

YES YES
NO NO

This table has been reproduced from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 382 rules for Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing.

Discontinaution of attempt administer post accident test.

(d)(1) Alcohol tests. If a test required by this section is not administered within two hours following the accident, the employer shall prepare and maintain on file a record stating the reasons the test was not promptly administered. If a test required by this section is not administered within eight hours following the accident, the employer shall cease attempts to administer an alcohol test and shall prepare and maintain the same record. Records shall be submitted to the FMCSA upon request.

(2) Controlled substance tests. If a test required by this section is not administered within 32 hours following the accident, the employer shall cease attempts to administer a controlled substances test, and prepare and maintain on file a record stating the reasons the test was not promptly administered. Records shall be submitted to the FMCSA upon request.

 

Post-Accident testing may be required under Company Policy even when FMCSA regulations do not require such testing. This would be non-DOT testing.

When an Accident Occurs:

  • Determine if above criteria has been met and perform DOT testing if yes, if not; the company can perform non-DOT testing based on Company Policy.
  • An employee will submit a specimen for a drug test as soon as possible from the time of the reportable accident but no later than 32 hours after the time of the accident as defined in the table below. Alcohol testing must be conducted within eight (8) hours of an accident. The employee is prohibited from consuming alcohol for eight (8) hours following an accident.
  • If the employee is injured, the COMPANY retains the right to contact any treating medical facility and request that a controlled substance and alcohol test be obtained, or to obtain from the employees medical records, the result of any such test obtained during the course of treatment. The refusal of any employee to allow the collection of these specimens or to attempt to block the release of said specimen will result in the immediate medical disqualification of the employee.
  • An employee who fails to report an accident to the Company and who fails to comply with the post-accident requirements of this policy will be presumed to be positive for the presence of a controlled substance resulting in the medical disqualification for employment with this Company.

Drivers must remain readily available for testing until it is concluded whether testing will be required. This shall not be construed to require the delay of necessary medical attention for injured people following an accident or to prohibit a driver from leaving the scene of an accident to obtain assistance in responding to the accident or to obtain emergency medical care.