Published on:

DOT Proposes New Rules for Drug Testing

Atlanta accident lawyers will be pleased to know that the Department of Transportation has posted a Notice of Proposed Rule Making, which deals with stricter testing for drug use.

The NPRM proposes a number of measures that are designed to prevent commercial motor vehicle drivers abusing drugs from slipping through the cracks.The NPRM proposes initial testing for 6-acetylmorphines, and lowering the cut off for cocaine and amphetamines. The idea is to align testing standards with the testing standards of Health and Human services. According to the HHS, such testing would help identify approximately 10% of drug users in the commercial driver population, who currently remain unidentified.

Truck drivers are at a higher risk of amphetamine abuse. These drugs are used to induce alertness, helping truckers stay awake for longer periods of time. Use of stimulants like methamphetamines can have serious side effects. The person may begin to feel extremely drowsy as the drug’s effects begin to wear off, with serious consequences. Employers can now identify drivers who had been using these drugs, but had remained unidentified because of the higher cut off points.

Employers are required to test their employees before employment, and to conduct periodic and random testing of drivers. Earlier, there was rampant and widespread abuse of the system by drivers who managed to escape a positive drug test result by using products, like synthetic urine.Since then however, the Department of Transportation has amended the rules to require trucking companies to procure drug testing records of potential workers from their previous employees.

Measures like these make it harder for rogue truckers with a history of drug and alcohol abuse to enter the system.

The Atlanta truck accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in truck, semi truck and tractor trailer accidents in the metro Atlanta area and across the state of Georgia.