The FACTS About Drug Testing

The FACTS about drug testing

You probably already know this but there are different “pools” for different jobs within the DOT drug testing.

To start with there is FMCSA, and FTA, and FAA, PHMSA, and a few more.

What do all of these acronyms mean?

FMCSA: Federal Motor Carrier Administration

FTA: Federal Transit Administration

FAA: Federal Aviation Administration

PHMSA: Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Now that we know what they stand for, let’s break it down to where even I can understand it. 

FMCSA is for truck drivers. It gets a little confusing but really it’s only for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers that hold a CDL. 

That means that if you hold a CDL and are utilizing your CDL for a job you need to have an initial NEGATIVE drug test and be in a random drug testing program.  

We call that a consortium. It’s a pool of drivers that can be from different companies but all fall under the same regulations for drug testing. Then the consortium makes sure that you are in compliance with the federal regulations for random selections.

Here the Kicker….

But if you are operating a CMV as defined by FMCSA (any vehicle that crosses state lines and has a GVWR [Gross Vehicle Weight Rating] over 10,000 lbs) and are involved in an accident then you need to take a post accident drug test. 

As long as the accident meets the criteria set by FMCSA. 

This is, if there is a fatality you get a Post Accident drug test.  Or if your driver receives a citation and a vehicle is towed or someone is transported to the hospital by emergency vehicles.  

Let’s break that down just a little more.  You would NOT need a Post Accident drug test if you get into a fender bender, no one is towed or transported to the hospital but you receive a citation.

You WOULD need a Post Accident drug test if you were in an accident, received a citation, and the other person’s car was towed from the scene.

Make Sense?

Oh, we can’t forget that if you are in FMCSA then you also have a clearinghouse taken care of.  But that’s for a whole other blog. (coming up in the near future)

How do I know if we fall under FTA instead of FMCSA? 

Great question. If you receive federal funds (grants) and transport passengers, then you fall under FTA.

What if we utilize our CDL drivers to transport passengers but do not receive federal funds for the transportation of our passengers? 

Then you would fall under FMCSA.

Clear as Mud right.

FTA is pretty much the same exhaust as FMCSA. With the exception of the clearinghouse requirements and also the post-accident is a little different. 

At the time of writing the FTA does not require that you pull a clearinghouse query at all for any driver. Even if they are CDL drivers.

Post-accident procedures are as follows for FTA. conduct a post-accident drug test if there is any fatality involved in the accident. Also, you would conduct a post-accident drug test if there is disabling damage to either vehicle involved and/or if anyone is medically transported and/or your vehicle was removed from service (this last one only applies to rail cars, trolley’s or vessels)

Hopefully, this helps!

Now lets get out there and lay some rubber on the road to success.

Have a great day

Dan Greer

COO Eclipse DOT

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