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What Landscape Contractors Need to know about Drug Testing


  • Who must be drug tested? Any driver with a Class A or Class B license who operates a vehicle with a GVWR or GVCW of 26,001 lbs or more.
  • Does it matter if we are intrastate only?  No. some confusion exists because intrastate-only vehicles do not always require a DOT registration. But if a driver operates a vehicle as described  above, s/he must be in a random drug testing program.
  • What is a consortium?  A consortium is a pool drivers from different companies for the purpose of selecting random tests. Currently, the FMCSA require 50% of all CDL holders be randomly tested for drugs and 10% be tested for alcohol. A consortium facilitates random testing for smaller employees.

  • What happens in a DOT audit? It depends. If you are doing it all right, not much. If not, you end up writing checks. A new-ish client of ours with 13 drivers joined our programs after negotiating its DOT penalty down to $13,000. Read about what a DOT auditor looks at here.

  • What is the FMCSA clearinghouse? The clearinghouse is a federal database housing drug and alcohol violations for CDL drivers. In its 2 years of operation more than 100,000 violations have been recorded. Employers are required to query the Clearinghouse for new hires, an annually for all existing drivers. Penalties for non-compliance are set at $5833 per violation. Really.

Drug Testing for Landscape Contractors

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