Post-Accident Drug And Alcohol Testing: Observations
The regulations contemplate the possibility of a “team driver” situation, and require testing for both the driver behind the wheel and the co-driver. This can be significant because it is not unheard of for drivers to swap seats after an accident.
A driver is barred from consuming alcohol for eight hours following an accident or until a post-accident alcohol test is administered, whichever comes first. While this regulation prohibits post-accident alcohol use, it does not specifically prohibit post-accident usage of a controlled substance. This “omission” is probably intentional, as the USDOT likely considered that an injured driver may justifiably be prescribed narcotic pain medication in the wake of a wreck.