Drug Testing History Question

Topic 29197 | Page 1

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Payton S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey y'all, I've been reading all through this site. You're some very helpful, very entertaining folks.

My question pertains to drug testing. I do not currently hold a CDL or permit or anything. It's just been a career path I've had my eyes on for a few years when construction gets old.

Last month I failed a pre-employment drug test for a construction company. I thought I was clean, I hadn't used anything for like 6 weeks after a trip to the Rockies, but I guess my fat ass was holding onto some metabolites.

My question is, have I screwed myself out of getting my CDL for the next 5 years? Am I in a database as a drug addict now and untouchable by carriers?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
My question is, have I screwed myself out of getting my CDL for the next 5 years? Am I in a database as a drug addict now and untouchable by carriers?

Hello Payton, and welcome to our forum!

You have got yourself in a bit of a pickle now, but it's not the way you are thinking. Your name is not in a database yet. Failing a pre-employment drug screening is different from failing a D.O.T. drug test. You are fortunate in that regard. Here's where you are going to have issues. When obtaining your CDL, there are federal forms with specific questions that you will be required to answer. One of those questions is going to be, "Have you ever failed a drug test?" It as a federal crime to lie on these forms. We would never recommend you do so. If you answer it honestly you will need to give dates and explain the details. I'm just being honest with you so you know what to expect. There are going to be a lot of companies that will say no to you, but if you persevere you will find someone wiling to take you on. I highly recommend you start by applying to Paid CDL Training Programs first. Exhaust your chances with that category before moving on to other companies. Your best bet is going through a company sponsored training program. That way they will have determined whether they can hire you or not before you go through the whole process of obtaining a CDL and then not being able to land a job.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

As OS has noted (good to see you posting there old man) - it depends on whether or not you choose to be honest on an application.

And some of that depends on how it's worded. Some apps I've seen, specifically ask for a DOT Drug Test failure - some just ask for a failure (any).

Getting caught LYING - is a BAD THING. I've never heard of a FEDERAL PROSECUTION for lying on a trucking employment application - but it WILL GET YOU BLACKLISTED IF YOU ARE CAUGHT.

Now - I assume you didn't get the job - so you don't have to list THAT EMPLOYER as a "previous employer" in your work history?

Was the test HAIR OR URINE? 6 weeks post using - must have been some SUPER STRONG stuff it if was urine (which typically only detects 30 days) - HAIR testing will show up longer (depending on whether or not they follow protocol and ONLY TEST THE LATEST 1.5").

RATTING ON YOURSELF - will likely PRECLUDE A HIRE - unless you've done a SAP - and even that will cause companies to STEER CLEAR OF YOU AS A NEWBIE.

OTOH - again - we would NEVER TELL SOMEONE TO LIE ON AN APPLICATION - your test will NOT BE in the FMCSA Drug Clearinghouse Database - so you might get away with it.

Have you EVER FAILED A DRUG TEST - oh, you mean like the one I (allegedly) failed on probation THIRTY FIVE YEARS AGO? Yeah - I'm not disclosing THAT ONE - I'll take my chances there.

A big issue arises with the legalization of weed, in many states - as well as the MEDICALLY CERTIFIED USE (which could or could not fall under ADA/HIPAA regs). Suffice to say - even if it were FEDERALLY LEGALIZED, it's INCREDIBLY UNLIKELY THAT IT WILL EVER BE OK for truckers, pilots, railroad employees - anyone in a "federally regulated safety sensitive position".

Again (for the third time) - not TELLING YOU TO LIE - but...

Also - you REALLY WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU CAN PASS ANY TYPE OF DRUG SCREEN BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO ENTER THE INDUSTRY. If you popped hot on a urine 6 weeks out - you will pop hot on hair, likely SIX MONTHS OUT.

Rick

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Payton S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the helpful responses fellers. Sounds like I've pickled myself but the dream isn't totally crushed and that makes me happy.

How common are follicle tests in the industry, specifically with the mega carriers that offer training? Is that something they mention up front or is it just up in the air til you show up at the office? I wonder if inquiring ahead of time is a red flag?

I popped hot on a urinalysis. I was camping/hiking/exploring for two weeks and was vaping and eating goodies basically everyday of the trip except the day I went home. Been stone cold sober since, and that hot test really threw me for a loop. Definitely makes me never want to partake again since apparently it sticks with me.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

It won't be a red flag if you call a recruiter and ask if they perform the hair follicle tests, in addition to a urinalysis.

Companies are all different in that some test only urine, while some perform both.

If you are going to try to land a position with a carrier that performs the hair follicle, wait at least six months before applying. Don't remove all your hair and think you'll be okay. Instant Red Flag.

Mike D.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm old but new to truck driving. This is a great forum.

I'm flat out going to judge your decision making. Did uou decide, six weeks ago you wanted to become a truck driver?

To not know the drug testing regulations is poor planning on your part and will possibly bite you in the hind end.

Acting like being clean for six months is an achievement shows a lack of understanding and bad judgment so I wouldn't act too cavalier about it to a prospective employer.

I wish you luck, but this is a high risk career so you might take it more serious, going forward.

Hey y'all, I've been reading all through this site. You're some very helpful, very entertaining folks.

My question pertains to drug testing. I do not currently hold a CDL or permit or anything. It's just been a career path I've had my eyes on for a few years when construction gets old.

Last month I failed a pre-employment drug test for a construction company. I thought I was clean, I hadn't used anything for like 6 weeks after a trip to the Rockies, but I guess my fat ass was holding onto some metabolites.

My question is, have I screwed myself out of getting my CDL for the next 5 years? Am I in a database as a drug addict now and untouchable by carriers?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm old but new to truck driving. This is a great forum.

I'm flat out going to judge your decision making. Did uou decide, six weeks ago you wanted to become a truck driver?

To not know the drug testing regulations is poor planning on your part and will possibly bite you in the hind end.

Acting like being clean for six months is an achievement shows a lack of understanding and bad judgment so I wouldn't act too cavalier about it to a prospective employer.

I wish you luck, but this is a high risk career so you might take it more serious, going forward.

Actually - had you read his post - you would see that he failed a pre-employment screen for a construction job. After he legally partook in substances in a state where it was legal to do so.

NOW - he is considering getting into trucking - and asking questions as to whether a NON-TRUCKING FAILURE will affect his chances at a start in this industry.

I'm kinda old too. And I celebrate TWENTY YEARS SOBER next week (and over 30 years from hard narcotics). As a recovering addict/alcoholic - SIX MONTHS CLEAN FOR SOME IS A MAJOR ACHIEVEMENT. I know many who CANNOT EVEN PUT TOGETHER SIX DAYS. And with many of the support groups unable to meet, due to COVID restrictions - I've seen way too many people relapse and DIE. So don't be too quick to judge another man, until "you've walked a mile in his shoes".

So the guy partook and went to a non-trucking test after 60 days and failed. Surprising - but not uncommon - especially with the potency of todays weed products. But it doesn't sound like he was snorting rails of a strippers butt yesterday, and wants to drive tomorrow.

Most of us HERE - have no problems with other people smoking weed or drinking - but have to REMIND PEOPLE THAT THIS IS A ZERO TOLERANCE INDUSTRY.

The man came here looking for TRUTH - no reason to jump on his lack of commitment, when you have no idea what his LEVEL OF COMMITMENT IS.

Remember our motto: "...to empathize, encourage, and inspire" - not to judge, criticise and ostracize.

The man asked a legitimate question - and was given legitimate answers. No need to criticise a lapse of judgement from someone who seeks to enter this industry, and is asking questions on whether PAST MISTAKES will jeopardize his future in this profession.

NOW - had he failed a screen in ORIENTATION - our responses may have had a different tone.

LIGHTEN UP...

Rick

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