Post-Accident Drug Testing Procedures

An accident of any kind is never good for business. In addition to potential injuries, accidents slow down productivity. This is especially true for truck drivers, where an accident can be potentially fatal and almost always involves non-employees. It’s important to review and understand US Department of Transportation (DOT) rules regarding post-accident drug testing and alcohol testing to make sure the incident doesn’t slow down your business.

When To Notify DOT

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that the DOT must be notified if at least one of the following occurs:

  • the accident results in any fatalities
  • any injuries are severe enough to need transportation to a medical facility
  • at least one vehicle requires towing

Additionally, the accident must have occurred on a public road.

Do You Need To Drug Test?

In some cases, you will not need to test even if the above criteria are met. In fact, unless your company has a policy that complies with state statutes, it is illegal to test your drivers. Only drivers found to be at fault may be asked to take alcohol and drug tests. They also may be required to test if a fatality occurs, regardless of who is at fault.

DOT Regulations

It’s important to follow DOT regulations when administering and taking a drug or alcohol test. The driver must take an alcohol test within two hours of the accident, and you must document any delay in testing. Continue this procedure every two additional hours that pass without testing, for up to eight hours.

A similar policy applies to post-accident drug testing. The driver must take the test within 32 hours, and documentation is to be provided explaining any delays. A professional from Occupational Drug Testing can administer the test onsite with one of our mobile testing vehicles to prevent significant delay.

Can You Use Tests Given By Police?

You may not be able to use tests given by the police for your records due to HIPPA laws. Additionally, the police will most likely administer a blood test to check for both alcohol and controlled substances. The FMCSA only accepts urinalysis for drug testing and a breathalyzer for alcohol.


With a full fleet of mobile on-site testing vehicles available 24/7, our professional certified collectors can administer post-accident drug testing services to your drivers. Call us at (617) 722-9388 (MA) or 1(800) 211-4469 (NH) to get your business back in working order.

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