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Truck drivers must submit to federally required drug tests

No one should get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs. It is just too easy for an impaired driver to cause a serious accident. If that impaired driver is operating a semi truck, an accident could have especially serious consequences.

Federal regulations require that truck drivers be tested for the following substances:

  • Phencyclidine, also called PCP.
  • Opiates, which includes opium and derivatives of codeine.
  • Cocaine.
  • Methamphetamines and amphetamines.
  • Marijuana.

Testing takes place during various periods of a truck driver's career, starting with a pre-employment screening, which a driver must pass before being allowed on the road. A driver is also subject to testing after being involved in an accident, or if a reasonable suspicion has been raised based on his or her behavior or other indicators. In addition, drivers must also submit to random testing.

If a driver tests positive or refuses to take a test, he or she is immediately suspended from duty. Before being allowed to operate a commercial vehicle, the driver then must go through a "return-to-duty" process. This process is carried out under the supervision of a substance abuse professional. The driver must pass a test administered by the SAP and pass a series of tests during the next 12 months.

There is a good reason that truck drivers are placed under such scrutiny regarding drug use. However, even with the safeguards that are in place, there are drivers who still choose to operate their vehicles while impaired.

If you or a member of your family ever come to harm due to the negligence of a truck driver who was on drugs while behind the wheel, you not only deserve compensation, but you may have several options on how to secure it. A Texas truck accident attorney could investigate your case and offer guidance on how to navigate the compensation process.

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