I keep getting crossed answers on this - any help is appreciated.

If we have a DOT driver, who is not involved in a driving incident, does the driver still need a DOT drug/alcohol test?

I would think we would still have to comply with DOT regs, but I hear from the company owner that he's not sure whether or not he would need a DOT drug panel, and now he's not sure he even needs the DOT BAT.

Thanks in advance -



  • 10 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • The title of your post mentions post accident testing but the text of your post says the DOT driver was not involved in a driving incident.


    Was there an accident or not?  Is there some other basis for testing or not testing that is under consideration (e.g., random)?

  • This site should help you answer all of your questions:

    You need to post accident test your driver under DOT regulations if he has a DOT recordable accident. You may test him for a post accident test that is non-DOT recordable depending on your compnaies accident policy.  They also need to be enrolled in a Random selection program.  Check out the FMCSA website for all the regulations. 

  • It is my understanding from a DOT compliance company I worked with that if you have DOT drivers you are required to have a random DOT drug and alcohol test program.  My previous company had DOT drivers.   We used this compliance company to help manage this whole program.  They would send out a list of drivers that were randomly selected from drivers around the whole company to take a drug test or an alcohol test.  There were seperate lists for each type of test. 

    In terms of an accident, we would send the driver for a post-accident DOT drug and alcohol test.


  • We are a construction company with quarterly DOT required random testing already being performed. We follow DOT regs, but my question is a tricky one.

    We hire DOT drivers, but they are not just drivers - they are construction laborers. We hire DOT-licensed people so that they can drive the DOT equipment we have, but they are NOT just drivers - every EE out in the field works as a laborer.

    Here is the situation: We have a DOT-licensed laborer who is working on a crew, NOT DRIVING, and is at fault in an accident. The accident is not a DOT accident, but an accident. My question is whether or not I would have to DOT drug test the EE when he is not involved in a DOT accident. If he's not acting in the capacity of a driver, and isn't logged for any driving hours, then would I have to send him for DOT lab testing, simply because he has a DOT license?
  • If the accident is not DOT reportable then you should not drug test him as a DOT post accident test. Teh DOT looks at the amount of times you report a DOT drug test and may audit you if you have an excessive amount in a certain time period.   If teh ee is a DOT driver, whether or not he is currently driving, he should be enrolled in your random drug testing program as well.   <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

    If your drivers are driving a random times you need to be able to prove though log books or time cards what time they have been in the vehicle for the past 5 to 8 days.  If you are usually within 100 air miles you do not need a log book, but they should have a time sheet to show that they have not been in a truck for over the hours of service regulations if they are stopped. 

    The regulations apply to those employees that hold a DOT license and drive trucks that require DOT licensing, not to the job title.  I would check out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations website for more information.  Also check with your local trucking association.  Most times they have classes that will teach you about the regulations and how to keep in compliance. 

    They will also conduct mock audits of your driver files to make sure you have everything that you need, before you have a real DOT audit. 

  • It's not clear if the accident is a vehicular accident.  Was this an accident with, for example, a power tool (e.g., he cut his own thumb off) or is this an accident with his private vehicle or with a Company vehicle?

  • I am asking a generalized question, not about one particular incident. The question that was posed to me wasn't about the incident, but about the function being performed, and what type of drug test it would require.

    The question I am asking is, if the DOT-licensed driver is in an accident where he isn't functioning as a DOT driver, would we still have to test as a DOT, or can we use a non-federal drug test?

    The situation could be that the employee jumped off a truck while loading poles and shattered his knee. Another situation that the owner here considers a non-DOT accident could be that a DOT driver is driving a NON DOT vehicle and collides with another vehicle. In his eyes, both of the issues would be the same, since the DOT driver, in both scenarios, was not acting in a DOT capacity.

    I am being asked to stay void of the actual incident. Does that make sense?

  • I am asking this, without a specific incident, for a reason.

    The DOT licensed EE could have been loading poles and jumped off a truck, shattering his knee.

    The DOT licensed EE could also have been driving a NON DOT regulated vehicle and collided at an intersection with another vehicle.

    According to the owner, both incidences above should be considered the same, since the DOT licensed driver wasn't functioning in a DOT capacity.

    I am to ask this in a general format. Any thoughts?

  • I am inclined to say that it's no in the first case (Which I think agrees with Pam, who seems to be the local SME on driver related stuff) and maybe in the second case.  However, you can get your question answered here:

    Note also that one brochure on the topic at seems to be neutral in its language addressing the nature of the accident.  It says, "Post Accident: This test applies to all CDL drivers who are involved in fatal crashes. The test must also be conducted on all CDL drivers who are cited for moving violations arising in a crash that requires a vehicle being towed or an injury requiring medical attention away from the scene. The alcohol test must be conducted within 8 hours and the controlled substances test must be conducted within 32 hours of the crash."

    Pam has DOT drivers and knows this stuff best and referred you to the right part of the CFR, above.  Was there a specific part of the CFR we can help yuo understand or does it not distinguish well enough?  I think Pam said that if it's a non-DOT accident, then you test according to your policies.

    I don't think the post-accident language in any place I've seen it talks about DOT testing when a vehicle is not involved.  I'd ask DOT or counsel if this was a non-DOT vehicle in what would otherwise be a DOT accident of record.

  • Actually it would be yes to the second incident, if he is driving a company owned vehicle.  Anytime a DOT driver is driving for you he is subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.  If he was driving a company pick up and collided with another car in an intersection and one of the following occurred, he would need to be tested under DOT testing guidelines.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

    1. Fatality


    1. Bodily injury to a person, who as a result of the injury immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident (i.e., taken away by ambulance)


    1. One or more motor vehicles incur disabling damage as a result of the accident requiring the vehicle to be towed from the scene (it must be un-drivable, not inconvenient to the owner)

    But if he is loading poles and has an accident then you would test him according to your drug testing policy as you would any employee.  Another thing to keep in mind is that violations on their driver’s license is not separated between professional and private violations.  For example, if your employee has three speeding tickets in his privately owned vehicle, they will show up on him driving record.  Your insurance company may then exclude him as a driver for you based on excessive tickets, even though they are not job related.  It is important to pull their driving records annually to be sure that they are still within your company guidelines.  

    If your state has a DMV Pull Program I would get all of your drivers enrolled as soon as possible.  The DMV will notify you of any activity on their license.  For example, one of your drivers looses his license due to child support payments and does not notify you.  You then have an unlicensed driver in your company vehicle.  


    Feel free to contact me off list if you have any questions. 



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