Drug and alcohol testing is mandatory when you are driving a CDL truck.
the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal. It is illegal in a car or a
CDL truck. There is also a difference when caught Driving Under the Influence with a CDL license. You are held to a
higher standard as a CDL driver. It does not matter whether you are in your
personal vehicle or a big rig if you are caught Driving Under the Influence.
For instance, in the state of PA the DUI limit is .08%. If you are a CDL license holder the limit is .04% in PA. The DUI limit as a CDL holder is .04% in all 50 states. As you can see you are held to a higher standard. If you are stopped and tested and you are under .04% but above .02% you must be taken off-duty for 24 hours.
This is not the only violation that is different as a CDL holder. The points and fines associated with violations can be much different when driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Each state has its own differences.
Why do I write this? I am a Recovering Alcoholic! I finally hit my bottom in November 1993. I had lots of experience driving under the influence.
Please keep in mind I did not drink and drive when working. The problem was the hangovers. Many times, I went to work hungover so bad that I know I was still under the influence. My mental alertness and reaction times were affected in my driving decisions. Thank goodness I never had an accident in a CMV. I did have a few accidents in my personal vehicles while drinking and driving. All the accidents happened on back country roads and no other vehicles were involved.
Drug and alcohol testing is required with a CDL. Even if you own your truck and work for yourself you must be in a drug and alcohol testing program. You can call any local testing facility and they will tell you what to do. When I had my own truck I was in a local consortium. They put my name with other employers and randomly drew names.
Alcohol is not as bad as drugs like marijuana. An average urine test can detect alcohol between 12 and 48 hours after drinking. Marijuana can take from 7 to 30 days to get completely out of your system with a urine test.
You never know when you will be called to take a test. If your Company or Dispatcher calls you to take a test you need to go. When I was called different times they always waited until I was back at the home terminal to tell me. You are required to go as soon as possible. I always went right from work to the testing site if it was open and had it done. Once they inform you of the test you cannot go back on duty until they have the results.
When I worked as a hiker delivering trucks I had to deal with it. I had just delivered a truck in Birmingham, AL. I called dispatch to get another truck and they informed me I could not get another dispatch until I took a drug and alcohol test. I told them I didn’t know where I was at and they basically said that’s your problem. They then told me where I could go and get it done. I figured I would be held up there until the results were in, but they told me to get it done and call them back for another truck. I went and had it done and they immediately dispatched another truck for me. It wasn’t as bad as I thought.
Drug and alcohol testing is all about safety. It helps keep the driver and the public safer. To learn more about Safety and Safe Driving Tips click here.