By Dave Osiecki & Sean Garney of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting LLC & Regulatory Consultants to DriverReach – March, 2021
DriverReach recently started a new blog series aimed at accurately communicating driver and fleet-related requirements, typically governed by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) safety rules. The idea is to dispel some common industry myths or misconceptions. This is the second blog in our new ‘Compliance MythBuster’ series.
The Compliance Myth: After being notified of selection for random drug or alcohol testing, a CDL driver has up to 2 hours to report to a collection site to provide a sample. This is false.
The Facts: FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing regulations are clear when they state that an employer shall require that each notified driver “proceeds to the test site immediately”.
There is a second part of this same FMCSA regulation that states, “if the driver is performing a safety-sensitive function, other than driving a commercial motor vehicle, at the time of notification, the employer shall instead ensure that the driver ceases to perform the safety-sensitive function and proceeds to the testing site as soon as possible.” An example of a safety-sensitive function other than driving is inspecting or performing maintenance on a truck or trailer.
So, the two regulatory standards for the amount of time a driver has to report to a collection site are: (1) immediately, or (2) as soon as possible. This regulatory language is found in Section 382.305(l) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
FMCSA has also issued ‘regulatory guidance’ around this same question, with one twist. That twist is if a driver is notified of his/her selection for drug testing while off-duty. FMCSA’s guidance is this:
“If an employer selects a driver for a random controlled substances test while the driver is in an off-duty status, and then chooses to notify the driver that he/she has been selected while the driver is still off-duty, the employer must ensure that the driver proceeds immediately to a collection site. Immediately, in this context, means that all the driver’s actions, after notification, lead to an immediate specimen collection.”
See guidance Question 17 to Section 382.305 of the FMCSRs.
In summary, while “immediately” and “as soon as possible” are not specifically defined in the regulations, there is no suggestion that 2 hours is allowed or authorized.
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