Mar 29, 2021

FMCSA Random Alcohol Testing Policy

FMCSA Random Alcohol Testing Policy

Most truck drivers are aware that the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require frequent random drug and alcohol tests for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) drivers. But even if you’re aware of this requirement, you may find that your knowledge of the FMCSA random alcohol testing policy is lacking. This article will tell you what you need to know about this FMCSA policy.

What Is Random Alcohol Testing?

Random drug and alcohol testing is a type of testing required for CDL drivers by the DOT and FMCSA. As the name suggests, these tests are conducted randomly and unannounced throughout the year upon randomly selected CDL drivers. Random drug and alcohol tests deter drivers from drug and alcohol use while on duty, as drivers must always be ready for random testing to occur.

The FMCSA’s Policy

So, what does the FMCSA random alcohol testing policy entail? In the following section, we’ll further explain the specifics of the policy and how the random alcohol testing process works.

Who Must Be Tested?

Any CDL driver who regularly drives a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) or performs safety-sensitive functions for their company must be placed in a DOT random testing pool. Non-CDL drivers may not be placed in a DOT random testing pool, but employers are free to require separate random drug tests for their non-CDL employees.

How Are Drivers Selected for Random Testing?

Once all CDL drivers are placed in a DOT random testing pool, names will randomly be selected from the pool for testing throughout the year. A CDL driver is only qualified for random alcohol testing while they are on duty and just before or after performing a safety-sensitive function. After a driver is selected for random testing, their name is returned to the pool so as to keep the testing truly random.

What Must a Driver Do When Selected for Random Testing?

When a driver is selected for random testing, they will be notified. Once notified, that driver must report to a testing location immediately.

How Many Drivers Must Be Tested?

The minimum number of an employer’s drivers who must be selected for random alcohol tests annually is 10 percent.

Whether you need help managing your random drug and alcohol testing or post-accident drug and alcohol testing, DOT drug testing consortiums like Labworks USA are here for you. Join today, and we’ll help you remain DOT compliant throughout the drug and alcohol testing process.