FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Testing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is one of the agencies under the Department of Transportation (DOT). The FMCSA follows the DOT drug and testing policy, performing substance abuse tests to fight and eliminate the harmful effects it can cause in the workplace.

Here are the basic things you need to know about the DOT-FMCSA drug and alcohol testing policy:

Who are subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing?

The DOT drug and alcohol testing policy covers all FMCSA drivers and employers who perform safety-sensitive functions under the following conditions:

  • Drivers and employers who handle commercial motor vehicles.
  • Those who are going to obtain their commercial driver’s license.
  • Those who operate commercial motor vehicles.
  • Those who lease, own, and assign drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles.

When are covered FMCSA employees and employers required for drug and alcohol testing?

According to DOT-FMCSA drug and testing rules, those who are covered by the policy are tested during random drug testing, and during the following circumstances:

  • Reasonable suspicion
  • Post-accident
  • Return-to-duty
  • Follow-up


Corporate Drug Testing Banner


What are the DOT drug testing rules for those under the FMCSA?

For drug testing, a DOT urinalysis procedure is needed to test for the following substances:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates

Only trained collectors are allowed to gather urine samples from those who are tested. DOT requires a split specimen, and collectors are responsible for making sure that all specimens meet the DOT’s drug testing requirements. By split specimen, DOT allows those who are tested to ask for a second opinion if their specimen is tested positive the first time.

What are the DOT alcohol testing rules for those under the FMCSA?

As per DOT-FMCSA, covered employees are not allowed to drink alcohol 4 hours before performing and during the performance of safety-sensitive functions. The DOT alcohol screening is done using a saliva or alcohol breath testing device (NHTSA approved) and the prohibited alcohol breath concentration is 0.02% or greater. A test with less than 0.02% result is a “negative” test. A test that results in a 0.02% or greater, will undergo a confirmation test to ensure that all results are accurate. Only screening test technicians (STT) and breath alcohol technicians (BAT) are allowed to perform the tests.

What happens to those who are found violating the DOT-FMCSA drug and alcohol prohibitions?

As per DOT-FMCSA rules, drivers found violating the prohibitions are removed from their duties. Depending on the managements proposed consequences, those found in violation can either be fired or undergo a recovery program before they can go back to performing safety-sensitive duties. During the recovery program, DOT drug testing and alcohol screening are done to ensure that the person is free from prohibited substance.

For more information on DOT-FMCSA drug and alcohol testing policy, follow the link:


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