CDL Random Drug Test Breathalyzer Failure

Topic 29339 | Page 1

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David M.'s Comment
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I failed the alcohol portion of the random CDL drug test. Has anyone had a similar experience? I’m looking for any information and advice.

Thank You in advance.



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
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Which begs the question - drinking? Mouthwash? Like - did you ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING that would trip a breathalyzer? WHAT LEVEL DID IT REPORT?

Did they IMMEDIATELY DO A BLOOD DRAW TO CONFIRM? While I'm not 100% sure it's written in the regs - you have the right to CONTEST THE RESULTS of a breathalyzer - and the ONLY CONFIRMATION is to draw blood.

Assuming you were not rolling out of a truck stop, after a night of chugging tall boys (and I've known guys that do), or you rinsed your mouth recently with an alcohol based mouthwash - then there are other medical conditions that could cause a false reading.

This is a whitepaper from a company THAT MAKES BREATHALYZERS - that illustrates things that can affect one.

So - if you DID NOT DO A BLOOD DRAW TO CONFIRM - there's a presumption that your BAC said you had been DRINKING.

At this point - that would go into the FMCSA Testing Registry AS A FAILURE. You would be DISQUALIFIED FROM DRIVING, until you completed the "Return To Duty Protocol".

FMCSA Clearinghouse Return To Duty Protocol

This includes completing a SAP (Substance Abuse Program) - counseling/etc.

Depending on you company and whether or not you were ROOKIE (Kiss of DEATH), and were an otherwise safe/productive driver with no other dings - YOU MIGHT GET BACK BEHIND THE WHEEL.

Since this board is pretty much ANONYMOUS HERE (like we don't know who you are in REAL LIFE) - how about you give us some HONEST DETAILS about the circumstances leading up to your test failure?

If it was a legitimate failure - and the presence of ANY ALCOHOL is a failure - then you are out of luck - out of a job - until you complete SAP (assuming anyone will take you on after a recently failed random - GOOD LUCK THERE).

Even if it's not sufficient for you to be DUI , though the threshold for DUI driving a CMV is lower than the usual .08 for personal vehicles (it is .04 if you're driving a rig - and we can assume you DROVE YOUR RIG to the testing center).

So please disclose what the deal REALLY WAS - and we can perhaps give you better guidance where to go from there.

But if I walked into a testing center and they said I failed a breath test - I WOULD DEMAND A BLOOD DRAW ON THE SPOT.

Then again - I'm 100% SOBER for 20 years now - so if I blew a bad test - THE TEST IS BAD.



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


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


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.


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.


Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards


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.


Driving Under the Influence

Parrothead66's Comment
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What he said

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