§382.303 Post-accident testing.
Why does the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) allow post-accident tests done by Federal, State or local law enforcement agencies to substitute for a §382.303 test even though the FHWA does not allow a Federal, State or local law enforcement agency test to substitute for a pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, return-to-duty, or follow-up test? Will such substitutions be allowed in the future?
Guidance: A highway accident is generally investigated by a Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency that may determine that probable cause exists to conduct alcohol or controlled substances testing of a surviving driver. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) believes that testing done by such agencies will be done to document an investigation for a charge of driving under the influence of a substance and should be allowed to substitute for a FHWA-required test. The FHWA expects this provision to be used rarely.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is required by statute to provide certain protection for drivers who are tested for alcohol and controlled substances. The FHWA believes that law enforcement agencies investigating accidents will provide similar protection based on the local court’s prior action in such types of testing.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will not allow a similar approach for law enforcement agencies to conduct testing for the other types of testing. A law enforcement agency, however, may act as a consortium to provide any testing in accordance with parts 40 and 382.
May an employer allow a driver, subject to post-accident controlled substances testing, to continue to drive pending receipt of the results of the controlled substances test?
Guidance: Yes. A driver may continue to drive, so long as no other restrictions are imposed by §382.307 or by law enforcement officials.
A commercial motor vehicle operator is involved in an accident in which an individual is injured but does not die from the injuries until a later date. The commercial motor vehicle driver does not receive a citation under State or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident. How long after the accident is the employer required to attempt to have the driver subjected to post-accident testing?
Guidance: Each employer is required to test each surviving driver for alcohol and controlled substances as soon as practicable following an accident as required by §382.303. However, if an alcohol test is not administered within 8 hours following the accident, or if a controlled substance test is not administered within 32 hours following the accident, the employer must cease attempts to administer that test. In both cases the employer must prepare and maintain a record stating the reason(s) the test(s) were not promptly administered.
If the fatality occurs following the accident and within the time limits for the required tests, the employer shall attempt to conduct the tests until the respective time limits are reached. The employer is not required to conduct any tests for cases in which the fatality occurs outside of the 8 and 32 hour time limits.
What post-accident alcohol and drug testing requirements are there for U.S. employer’s drivers involved in an accident occurring outside the U.S.?
Guidance: U.S. employers are responsible for ensuring that drivers who have an accident (as defined in §390.5) in a foreign country are post-accident alcohol and drug tested in conformance with the requirements of 49 CFR parts 40 and 382. If the test(s) cannot be administered within the required 8 or 32 hours, the employer shall prepare and maintain a record stating the reasons the test(s) was not administered (see §§382.303(b)(1) and (b)(4)).
What post-accident alcohol and drug testing requirements are there for foreign drivers involved in accidents occurring outside the United States?
Guidance: Post-accident alcohol and drug testing is required for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) accidents occurring within the U.S. and on segments of interstate movements into Canada between the U.S.-Canadian border and the first physical delivery location of a Canadian consignee. The FHWA further believes its regulations require testing for segments of interstate movements out of Canada between the last physical pick-up location of a Canadian consignor and the U.S.-Canadian border. The same would be true for movements between the U.S.-Mexican border and a point in Mexico.
For example, a motor carrier has two shipments on a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) from a shipper in Chicago, Illinois. The first shipment will be delivered to Winnipeg, Manitoba and the second to Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. A driver is required to be post-accident tested for any CMV accident that meets the requirements to conduct 49 CFR 382.303 Post-accident testing, that occurs between Chicago, Illinois and Winnipeg, Manitoba (the first delivery point). The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) would not require a foreign motor carrier to conduct testing of foreign drivers for any accidents between Winnipeg and Lloydminster.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) does not believe it has authority over Canadian and Mexican motor carriers that operate within their own countries where the movement does not involve movements into or out of the United States. For example, the FHWA does not believe it has authority to require testing for transportation of freight from Prince George, British Colombia to Red Deer, Alberta that does not traverse the United States.
If the driver is not tested for alcohol and drugs as required by §382.303 and the motor carrier operates in the U.S. during a four-month period of time after the event that triggered the requirement for such a test, the motor carrier will be in violation of part 382 and may be subject to penalties under §382.507.