Do motor carriers need to report drug and alcohol test results to FMCSA every year?

No trucking company owner likes to think that drivers will fail a random drug or alcohol screening or cause an accident due to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a program of the federal government tasked with creating and maintaining regulations for commercial vehicles to keep America’s roads safe, has a vested interest in obtaining information about drug and alcohol test results. If you own a trucking company or operate under your own authority, you must be prepared to provide testing or accident records to the FMCSA upon request.

What you should know about 49 CFR §382.403

The FMCSA created and maintains a regulation known as 49 CFR §382.403 that outlines its policies regarding drug and alcohol test results reporting in what it calls a management information system. Regarding alcohol and drug testing and accident reports, the FMCSA requires all motor carriers to maintain records for a minimum of five years. The agency also requires motor carriers to keep their reports from the previous year in a secure and safe location. It conducts random audits of these records unless it has a specific reason to request to see a motor carrier’s records.

What to do if you are selected for a random audit

The FMCSA will notify you by mail if it has selected you or your organization for a random audit. The letter will contain a user name and password that you should use to login to its website and file the results of your drug and alcohol screening and accident reports from the previous year into the FMCSA system.

You are obligated under federal law to report last year’s drug and alcohol test results if selected by FMCSA to do so. Failure to comply could result in fines and/or other legal sanctions. The FMCSA requires a response rate of 100 percent from randomly selected motor carriers. One possible consequence of not responding in the allotted time is a fine of $1,000 per day until you do comply.

Who must follow FMCSA drug and alcohol testing requirements?

The FMCA requires the following classifications of drivers, employers, and other organization to comply with its testing requirements:

  • Interstate and intrastate motor carriers
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Federal, local, and state governments
  • Any driver with a commercial driver’s license who operates a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads
  • Employers of drivers with a CDL who drive a CMV on commercial roads
  • Civic organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Disabled American Veterans

Any commercial driver or employer who has questions about how the FMCSA drug and alcohol testing programs operate can find additional resources on the FMCSA website.

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