If you’re thinking about becoming a truck driver, you may wonder “Do truck driving schools drug test?” The answer is yes. All prospective drivers must pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) pre-employment drug test before operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

Because commercial motor vehicles are often large and challenging to operate, it is imperative that truck drivers remain sober and alert while driving. By screening for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines and methamphetamines, and PCP, truck driving schools ensure that their students will not endanger themselves or others while on the road. Drug testing ensures that the drivers operating large motor vehicles are alert, aware, and unimpaired, keeping both truckers and other motorists safe while on the road.

Truck Driving School Drug Test Requirements

Truck driving schools like HMTI perform pre-employment drug test before you even join their training programs, ensuring that all potential drivers are drug-free. This rule applies to those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or a learner’s permit.

Once you are admitted to a CDL program, you should expect random drug tests, ensuring that you and other drivers remain sober and unimpaired. Additionally, whether you are a trainee or a licensed driver, you are sure to be drug tested after any and all trucking accidents. These measures protect you, other drivers, and company property. For the past few decades, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has administered DOT rules for any driver with a CDL.

Everything You Need to Know About Truck Driving School Drug Testing

DOT-approved drug tests check for traces of five difference types of drugs:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates, including opium and codeine
  • Amphetamines and methamphetamines
  • Phencyclidine, also known as PCP
  • Heroin

Even though some states have legalized marijuana, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) prohibits marijuana use on a federal level. This means that even if you have legally obtained marijuana in your system, you cannot drive a commercial vehicle. It is important to tell your truck driving school about any medications you’ve been prescribed so they don’t suspect you of illegal activity.

These tests also flag blood alcohol content over 0.02%, which means that it’s crucial that drivers have not had even one drink before testing.

What Happens If I Don’t Pass My Truck Driving School’s Drug Test?

An employee who doesn’t pass a drug test, they are required to immediately stop driving CMVs and must participate in the DOT’s return-to-duty process, which includes frequent testing and monitoring by a substance abuse professional. The process takes twelve months and makes getting a job during that time period extremely difficult and unlikely.

Return-to-duty testing is required of those who test positive for drug or alcohol use and of anyone who refuses to take a DOT-mandated drug test. 

Additionally, drivers who return a positive drug test will be reported to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, an online database maintained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This database gives employers and state agencies important info about trucker drug and alcohol violations. All employers are required to check the Clearinghouse list before hiring a new driver, and if your name is on the list, some companies may refuse to hire you.

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