According to federal regulations, all truck drivers operating commercial vehicles that transport more than 16 passengers or that have a CGVWR greater than 26,000 or that are transporting hazardous materials must be tested for drugs and alcohol. Testing is overseen by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the only drivers exempt are those that operate commercial vehicles on private property. Testing can help prevent Florida car accidents involving trucks and can help reduce the instances of Florida drunk driving accidents. There are six situations in which truck drivers may be tested:
1) As part of pre-employment screening. Federal regulations require that commercial truck drivers operating on a public road must be tested and must receive a negative result. Drivers who test positive generally must re-submit to testing and have difficulty securing employment.
2) After an accident. After an accident that results in a fatality as well as after any serious accident or traffic citation that results from any injury, commercial truck drivers must be tested. In these cases, the tests must be administered within 32 hours (for drug tests) or within 8 hours (for blood alcohol tests). These tests are designed to determine whether an accident was caused by DUI and can be used to determine the driver’s level of liability.
3) Random tests. Throughout the year, commercial truck drivers may be asked to take part in random drug tests. Drug tests may be administered even when a driver is off duty or at home. Drivers are subject to blood alcohol level tests during work or immediately after or before duty. Generally, once drivers are notified that they are being asked to submit to a random test, they must immediately go to the testing location for testing. Delays can be interpreted as a denial to take the test and denials to take part in random tests or any drug or alcohol testing is considered the same as testing positive under 49 CFR 40.191.
4) If there is reasonable suspicion of impairment. Drivers who appear to be abusing drugs or alcohol can be asked by DOT supervisors to submit to testing. This decision must be based on concrete evidence, such as odors, driver behavior, slurred speech, or the appearance of the truck driver.
5) If a driver has completed the “return-to-duty” process. If a driver refuses drug or alcohol testing or tests positive, he or she is required to complete a rigorous “return-to-duty” process, which includes testing or retesting.
If you have been injured in a Florida truck accident, contact the experienced legal team at the Flaxman Law Group to discuss your future and your options. Located in Homestead, Hollywood, and Miami, the Flaxman Law Group takes an active part in helping plaintiffs across South Florida. The Flaxman Law Group has not only helped thousands of injury victims in the area, but we also offer a free, no-obligation consultation which lets you discuss your case with our legal team. Call today to arrange your appointment.