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Employers are often eager to fill the void left when facing a vacant driver position. In the rush to qualify a new driver, they shouldn’t overlook an important aspect of the pre-employment screening process: drug testing regulations. Employers have to wait to verify negative results of the drug test before a prospective driver performs any safety-sensitive functions.

Some carriers unknowingly run into violations of this regulation during road examinations. During standard road examinations, trucks are not considered to be “in commerce,” therefore the employer does not have to have received the drug test results.

However, some carriers like to combine road examinations with pickups, deliveries or restaging to be productive. If the road examination includes picking up or delivering freight, a trailer or a power unit, the truck is considered to be “in commerce.” In this case, the employer must have the verified negative drug test results before the prospective driver can perform the road examination. While it’s tempting to be productive, employers risk violating this regulation by having a prospective driver perform safety-sensitive functions without having first confirmed the negative drug test results.

The FMSCA website has more information on the exact regulation and its interpretation. Refer specifically to the guidance provided in question eight.

  • Categorized in:
  • Transportation Safety
  • Regulations
  • Driver Management