What are the Criteria for DOT FMCSA Post-Accident Drug Testing?

When an accident occurs involving one of your CDL drivers, a common reaction for many employers is to order federal Post-accident drug tests. Requiring Post-accident drug testing after all accident situations may seem logical, but DOT regulations are specific as to what is a qualifying event triggering a federal post-accident drug and alcohol test. 

So what type of accident requires a federal post-accident drug and alcohol test?

DOT federal post-accident drug testing of your driver is required in the following situations:

  • When there are one or more human fatalities
  • At least one individual requires medical attention away from the scene
  • The driver receives a citation for a moving violation
  • When at least one vehicle incurs disabling damage and cannot be driven from the scene and
  • receives a citation for a moving violation

A CDL driver should complete the alcohol test within 2 hours but must be completed within 8 hours-be sure to document the reason for any delay. Drug tests should be completed as soon as possible but must be completed within 32 hours.

Drug and alcohol tests may be required after crashes
according to the following chart (§382.303): 

post-accident drug testing table

Post-Accident Summary:

A federal drug and alcohol test is required if a fatality occurred regardless of whether or not a citation was issued.

If the driver was issued a citation AND the vehicle was towed, or an individual was taken to a hospital a federal drug and alcohol test is required. 

The DER (employer) must ensure completion of the drug test within 32 hours of the accident, and the alcohol test within 8 hrs of the accident DER (employer) should document and maintain a record on file if, for any reason, testing was not completed within the required 8 or 32 hours.

Can I still test the driver if the accident does not qualify for a Federal Post-Accident drug DOT test?

Yes, non-DOT Post-Accident drug testing may be required under Company Policy.


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