Common Questions About Post-Accident Testing

DOT-compliant drug testing programs are intended to protect the safety of everyone on the roadways. Drivers who hold CDL licenses may be required to undergo drug and alcohol testing after they get into an accident. Since not all substances remain in the body for prolonged periods of time, post-accident testing should be done as quickly as possible.

Must drivers be suspended pending the results?

Ultimately, a driver is always subject to any restrictions placed by law enforcement officials, or by the FMCSA or DOT regulations. However, if a particular driver is not subject to restrictions from these agencies, then he or she can continue driving while awaiting the results of the post-accident drug screen. Individual employers may have different policies in place.

When must alcohol tests be performed?

Under Federal Code 382.303, an alcohol test should be administered as soon as practicable. If an alcohol test cannot be administered within two hours of the accident, the employer is legally required to create and maintain a record that states the test was not administered within this time period. If the alcohol test is not administered within eight hours, employers must cease trying to get the test administered. They must also prepare and maintain an official record to that effect.

What happens if the surviving driver is injured?

Federal Code 382.303 states that drivers are required to remain readily available for testing, or else the employer will record them as refusing to submit to testing. However, there is an exception. The regulations do not require drivers to delay seeking necessary medical attention in order to get to a testing facility. The same exception applies to drivers who need to obtain accident response assistance.


When must controlled substance tests be performed?

The regulations require controlled substance tests to be performed within 32 hours of an accident. Since substances degrade in the body over time, it is not expected that employers will continue to try to arrange for testing after this point. If the test isn’t properly administered, the employer is required to create and maintain a record to that effect.


Post-accident drug testing is one of the many DOT-compliant services we provide here at HDS Safety Services. You can call our office in Tucson at (520) 622-0419 for the answers to all of your questions about drug and alcohol testing.