Drug & Alcohol Use by Drivers: Overview
Use of alcohol or controlled substances by employees performing “safety sensitive functions” before or while driving is strictly regulated. However, there are certain limited exceptions which to be kept in mind if a positive post accident test result is uncovered. The regulations create an “actual knowledge” standard a motor carrier may use as a shield while arguing a driver was outside the scope of employment when operating a CMV while impaired. In such a situation, it is critical to inquire of the motor carrier representatives, starting with but not ending at the Safety Director, in order to test the motor carrier’s efforts to detect and prevent drug/alcohol use by drivers. While there may be no “actual knowledge” on the occasion, a showing that the motor carrier was unfamiliar with the requirements or did not create a way to properly enforce them may be helpful. The see no evil, hear no evil defense should rarely succeed.
Drug & Alcohol Use