Do Commercial Drivers Face Stricter Substance Use Restrictions?

In the eyes of the law, we are all the same. Well, this is a very American ideology, but it isn’t technically the truth in all cases. For example, not all drivers have to go through drug and alcohol testing to get behind the wheel.
Commercial drivers do have to go through testing and screening to drive. Employers are responsible to ensure they are putting safe, sober drivers on the roadways. Therefore, sober driving within the commercial driving industry isn’t just a driver thing; it is an employer responsibility, too.

What Substances Are Commercial Drivers Tested For?

Commercial drivers face the same drug laws as all of us. No illegal drugs can be found in their system. If they do test positive for certain substances, they may face legal and immediate professional consequences. The drugs for which truckers are tested for include the following:

  • Amphetamines, methamphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • PCP
  • Opiates

They cannot have any of these substances in their system, while on or off duty. Random testing can be administered to the drivers, even while they are off-duty. Employers are responsible for responding to the tests accordingly, taking drivers off the roads if they use drugs.
Alcohol use regulations are a bit less strict, though still relatively stricter than for the average driver. A trucker will be tested should an accident occur. They can also be tested for alcohol if given notice ahead of time. A driver tested with a BAC level of .04 or more will face repercussions, including the immediate removal from the roadways.

Return to Duty: A Benefit or Danger?

When a drug or alcohol test comes back positive, yes, drivers face consequences. Theoretically, they will be unable to drive professionally—that is until they complete certain steps toward being able to earn their driving privileges once again.
Drug tests and driver suspension are crucial to try to maintain a pool of safe commercial drivers. Not all impaired drivers are identified in time, unfortunately. Truck accidents caused by drugs and alcohol continue to happen. Prescription or even some over-the-counter drugs can also impair drivers, leading to avoidable truck accidents in Texas and all around the country.

Did a Driver’s Drug Test Come Too Late or Do too Little for You?

Following a truck accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer who understands the specific laws applied within the trucking industry. Your lawyer should know the right questions to ask and help demand the answers that could help provide justice in your case.