The Trucking Drug & Alcohol Policy of FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was created to minimize the amount of commercial motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths. To hold or obtain a commercial driver’s license , CDL, a driver must pass drug and alcohol tests periodically.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

• FMCSA regulations require CDL holders to pass a urine or a breath test for drugs or alcohol. This includes anyone who owns, drives or leases a commercial vehicle. The employers themselves are responsible for conducting testing.

Times for Testing

• CDL holders must pass random tests while on the job, upon observed reasonable suspicion of substance abuse, after an accident occurs, and before they return to work after a drug- or alcohol-related suspension.

Special Rules for Alcohol

• Alcohol is a legal substance and therefore drivers can consume it when not working, but there are restrictions. A driver may not drink while operating a vehicle, may not have a blood alcohol level of greater than 0.04 percent and may not drive within four hours of drinking alcohol.


• The FMSCA tests for marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, opiates and PCP. Because these drugs are illegal and controlled substances, all use is banned, on- or off-duty.


• If a driver tests positive for drugs or alcohol, she is removed from her post and must undergo an evaluation from a substance abuse professional and any necessary rehabilitation. The length of suspension is determined based on the nature of the offense. The driver must also pass a return-to-work drug and alcohol test.