Legally Protect Your Trucking Company With A Substance Abuse Policy

For truck drivers, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense. If a truck driver is intoxicated or high, and involved in an accident, they're often held responsible. They may not be the only party held responsible for the collision, though. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also places expectations on trucking companies. If you own a trucking company, make sure your company's protected by a well-written substance abuse policy.

Understanding the FCMSA's Regulations

Per the FCMSA's regulations, trucking companies are legally required to educate the drivers and supervisors that work for them about the dangers that drugs and alcohol pose. Along with other requirements, FCMSA 49 C.F.R. §382.601 says that trucking companies have to do the following:

  • Write up a substance abuse policy
  • Give the substance abuse policy to all drivers
  • Keep signed statements saying that employees received a copy of the company's substance abuse policy

Section B of 49 C.F.R. §382.601 details precisely what must be included in a substance abuse policy. A few of the specific items that your company's policy must have include the following:

  • When truck drivers are expected to be in compliance with your company's policy
  • Under what circumstances alcohol or drug testing is justified
  • What the consequences of not cooperating with an alcohol or drug test are
  • What effects drugs and alcohol can have on truck drivers

If your company fails to meet all requirements of 49 C.F.R. §382.601, it may be held responsible for an accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Drafting a Substance Abuse Policy

Few people are better qualified to help your company draft a substance abuse policy than a truck accident attorney. Truck accident attorneys specialize in understanding the laws that govern the trucking industry including 49 C.F.R. §382.601. They'll know precisely what your company needs to include in its policy, and they'll know how you trucking company needs to administer its policy.

If your trucking company doesn't have a substance abuse policy that was specifically written to meet all 49 C.F.R. §382.601 criteria, contact atrucking accident attorney today. They'll be able to help you quickly draw one up that will meet all legal requirements and will protect your company. They'll also be able to help you quickly create a policy and disseminate copies, so your company can be fully protected as quickly as possible.