When you are making a cross-country haul in your rig, it may be tempting to use controlled substances to remain alert or even simply to pass the time. You may also use drugs to relax on your days off. Still, if you have a commercial driver’s license, using drugs is usually problematic.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, those with CDLs must undergo mandatory drug testing at various stages of their employment. You may also have to take a drug test following certain accidents and other incidents. So, what happens to your CDL if you fail a drug test?
Stop performing safety-related functions
If you are a truck driver, many of your job duties probably involve some aspect of safety. When you fail a drug test, though, you are not able to participate in any safety-related functions for your employer. Consequently, a failed drug test is likely to make you immediately unable to do your job.
Participate in a return-to-work program
Before you are eligible to resume your job duties after a failed drug test, you must complete a return-to-work program with a qualified substance abuse professional. This professional must have the approval of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Try to find work again
Even though you have completed a return-to-work program, no employer must hire you. If you lost your job due to a failed drug test, you may have a difficult time finding a new one. Regrettably, you may have little choice but to look for a new line of work.
If you are struggling with substance abuse issues, it is advisable for you to obtain treatment before continuing to drive professionally. Ultimately, though, if your failed drug test leads to criminal charges, you may be able to minimize the consequences you face by mounting an aggressive defense.