Department of Transportation Drug Test: Illegal Medications

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We can all agree that operating as a commercial driver comes with certain risks that could affect both public and personal safety of the driver. That is the main reason why each commercial truck driver has to comply with a wide array of regulations.

Some rules deal with the number of hours they can drive actively, while others are here to ensure that drivers are capable of handling long hours of the drive without potential health and fitness issues,

Keep in mind that if a driver is suffering from a condition that requires particular medications, it may be illegal for him/her to drive the truck in the first place. They also have to undergo DOT Drug Test with an idea to prevent the potential intoxication and drug abuse. 

Controlled substances such as prescription drugs can affect a driver’s reaction time, which may lead to personal injuries and other accidents that will threaten public safety.

Trucking Regulations

It is a logical conclusion that truck drivers have to be completely sober while drivers and they cannot operate a commercial vehicle under the influence of drugs. We are talking about illicit drugs, including marijuana, heroin, and cocaine.

Even though weed is legal in some US states, federal regulations still consider it an illegal drug, which is why you cannot consume it under DOT regulations.

If you consume these drugs and cause an accident, it qualifies as DWI or DUI crime, depending on the state you are in. If an intoxicated truck driver hits a pedestrian, this usually the truck driver’s fault.

The common problem lies in prescription drugs because some of them can cause intoxicating effects similar to illegal ones. That is the main reason why they require valid prescriptions. 

For instance, some truck drivers tend to consume Adderall to stay alert and awake for long hours and shifts. Have in mind that it is illegal to consume them without a proper prescription, which means that if you cause an accident, it will be considered as DWI or DUI crime.

It isn’t effortless to regulate prescriptions and pharmaceuticals. If you wish to qualify to become a truck driver, you have to obtain CDL or commercial drivers’ license. 

Check here to learn how to obtain a commercial drivers’ license. 

At the same time, you need to pass the medical examination that will determine your current health condition. That way, they will make sure that you do not have conditions that could affect your driving in the long run.

For instance, problems with hearing, eyesight, and diabetes and limb control can reduce the chances of obtaining the license in the first place. You may be medically disqualified, which means that you should find another career choice.

Prohibited Meds

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You may not qualify for the medical exam in case you are consuming particular meds. Generally, the federal government divides drugs into Schedules in which Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous ones and can lead to abuse and addiction.

Consuming Schedule I, drugs such as narcotics, amphetamines, and other drugs will immediately disqualify you as a potential truck driver.

We are talking about prescription drugs as well, including:

  • Anti-diarrhea meds
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Painkillers
  • ADD meds
  • Anti-seizure meds

Remember that anti-seizure meds can also lead to disqualification, especially if you are using it to treat frequent seizure attacks. However, you can use medications for other purposes, including for treating depression, which will not disqualify you.

Of course, you will be able to use potential loopholes, but generally, you will have limited options. In case a certified doctor prescribed you a particular drug to consume due to medical conditions, you may qualify for becoming a truck driver if the doctor permits you.

Still, they may reject the doctor’s opinion in case they think that the drugs you are consuming can affect the safety of your driving in the future.

Final Word

The regulations we talked about above do not protect only drivers but the other traffic participants as well. 

According to FMCSA, trucking regulations are here to reduce unsafe practices by drivers and companies, which is why they become liable based on federal regulations.

We recommend you to visit this link: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/drug-and-alcohol-tests-for-employment-2060409 to learn everything about drug and alcohol testing methods. 

In case a violation leads to an accident, it is simpler to make the driver liable and get compensation, especially in case of personal injuries.

If an intoxicated truck driver injures you, you have to prove the negligence, and after a screening, you will be able to get the compensation based on your needs.

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