Choosing to become a truck driver can allow you to tap into greater stability and greater pay, all while giving you the ability to drive across the country. That being said, truck driving is serious business as a truck accident can cause substantially more damage to both vehicles and individuals than a regular automobile can. Because of this, drug testing is something that every commercial driver has to undergo in order to make sure that they’re sober and safe to be out on the road. But what does drug testing look like, and what does it entail?
If you’re hoping to become a commercial truck driver in Maryland, here’s what you need to know about the current drug testing requirements.
When Should You Expect to Be Drug Tested?
Maryland trucking companies follow the rules and regulations that are applied federally. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, CDL drivers can be expected to encounter drug-testing in Maryland during the following scenarios:
- Randomly: All truckers are subject to random drug tests throughout the year, ensuring that they don’t attempt to use substances when they know they won’t be tested.
- Prior to Employment: Drug tests are conducted prior to employment to ensure that prospective employees aren’t currently using.
- Post-Accident: If an accident occurs, truckers are subject to drug tests post-accident to eliminate drugs as a potential cause for the crash.
- Due to Suspicion: If an employer has reasonable suspicion that a CDL driver is using substances on the job, they can request a drug test be taken.
- In Order to Return to Duties: If an individual has been found to have broken the rules around substance use, they will need to take a test again to be able to perform their duties.
- As a Follow-Up: If individuals are found to be using and pass a test to return to their duties, they will then be given follow-up tests to make sure they’re clean as they get back to their jobs.
What Will the Drug Tests Detect?
Employers are looking to detect anything that could impair your ability to drive your truck safely, which encompasses a wide range of substances. That being said, some of the drugs that these tests will look for include cocaine, marijuana (keep in mind that tests won’t discriminate between cannabis-derived THC and hemp-derived THC), phencyclidine (better known as PCP), amphetamines and methamphetamines, and opiates.
Make sure to carefully review the rules and regulations provided by your trucking company and ask them about any concerns you may have. If you have a prescription that may result in a failed test, for example, this is something to bring up in advance so that you can navigate it with a potential employer.
Is Alcohol Something Trucking Companies Test for?
Yes, alcohol testing is generally included in broader drug testing. While many have their opinions on alcohol, the testing is ultimately done to make sure that truckers are safe and responsible while out on the road. You may wish to ask your company about their stance on drinking and what the repercussions are if a test comes back positive for alcohol before you imbibe during your free time.
Job security is important, especially if you’re looking to stay in the same position for years to come. Knowing about drug testing makes it easier to stay compliant. If you’re an aspiring truck driver, use the guide above to brush up on current drug testing practices so you can rest assured that you’re doing all the right things.