ANNOUNCEMENT

 

NEW OPTION FOR DOT PHYSICALS

Drug and Alcohol Testing Compliance Services is pleased to announce their affiliation with Dr. Ben Constante at Momentum Urgent Care. Dr. Constante has agreed to do DOT physicals for DATCS companies for $49.00. If you decide to use Dr. Constante for your DOT physicals, he will be glad to invoice your company.

Medical Review Officer

 

 DR. BEN CONSTANTE
 MOMENTUM URGENT CARE
 5011 TROUP HWY, STE. 200
 TYLER, TX 75707
 903-617-6727

 

DOT PHYSICALS AND DRUG TEST SCREENINGS IN TEXAS

The Department of Transportation will require you to take and successfully pass a physical and provide proof with a ‘Medical Examiner’s Certificate’. Federal law requires CDL holders to receive periodic physical examinations, called a “Department of Transportation Medical Examination”, to ensure the ability of the driver to safely operate a commercial vehicle. Trucking companies and truck drivers typically refer to the ‘Medical Examiner’s Certificate’ as a ‘DOT medical card’.

Please review all the physical requirements defined by the US Department of Transportation:

  1. You must have 20/40 correctable vision in each eye. Glasses or contact lenses are acceptable to correct a driver’s vision.
  2. You cannot be a diabetic on needle-injected insulin; diabetes controlled through a diet or oral medication is permitted.
  3. Your blood pressure must meet the following criteria
    • 140-159/90-99 for 1 year certificate
    • 160-179/100-109 for a 3 month temporary certificate
    • Greater than 180/110 is disqualifying

* Prescription medication to control blood pressure is permitted.

  1. Your blood sugar level must be under 200.
  2. Use of a Schedule 1 drug, amphetamine, narcotic or any other habit forming drug is not permitted.
  3. If you have a current diagnosis of cardiac insufficiency, collapse, congestive cardiac failure or any other cardiovascular disease you will be required to provide the Medical Examiner with a stress test (needs to be performed within the last 12 months) along with a release from your physician stating that you can drive a commercial motor vehicle without restrictions.

Other factors or conditions which could prevent you from obtaining the required DOT clearance include: sleep apnea, recent back injury, recent major surgery, a current hernia, or recent workmen’s compensation claims. If you have questions about your medical health, please consult your physician before beginning the training program.

In conjunction with the DOT physical, CDL drivers in Texas and throughout the States are required to take random drug test screens throughout the drivers’ employment in the trucking industry. The DOT drug screen will detect the usage of illegal narcotic drugs including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and phencyclidine (PCP).

DOT

Q. What if the DOT drug screen tests positive?

If the urinalysis is positive for one or more of the drugs on the 5 panel drug test, then the driver will be contacted in person by the Medical Review Officer. The MRO will interview the driver to determine if there is an alternative medical explanation for the drugs found in the urine specimen. If the driver provides appropriate documentation, a confirmation test is performed for each identified drug using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis. GC/MS confirmation ensures that over-the-counter medications or preparations are not reported as positive results. If the MRO determines that it is a legitimate medical use of the prohibited drug, the drug test result is reported as negative to the employer. Otherwise the drug test will be reported as positive.

Q. What would cause me to fail a DOT physical?

  • Over all the years we’ve been working with drivers, the biggest cause for concern we see is high blood pressure. Another concern is uncontrolled sugar in the urine. There are ways you can manage your blood pressure and blood sugar. 
  • Any condition that would cause a loss of ability to control, operate, or drive a commercial vehicle safely – loss or impairment of limbs, poor visual acuity, insulin-controlled diabetes, high blood pressure (more than 180/110), heart disease, respiratory disfunction, epilepsy, mental disorder, use of certain drugs, alcoholism.

Q. What are the truck driving vision requirements?

A commercial driver must have distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye. That means without corrective lenses, or with corrective lenses, you must be able to see 20/40 or better, with each eye individually as well as together. Your  field of vision should be  at least 70 degrees horizontally, and you must be able to recognize the standard traffic signal colors of red, green and amber.

Q. What are the truck driving vision requirements?

A commercial driver must have distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye. That means without corrective lenses, or with corrective lenses, you must be able to see 20/40 or better, with each eye individually as well as together. Your  field of vision should be  at least 70 degrees horizontally, and you must be able to recognize the standard traffic signal colors of red, green and amber.

Q. What are the DOT physical blood pressure requirements?

Here are the medical guidelines according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Note that employers are allowed to impose more stringent medical requirements.

  • A driver with a BP of less than 140 systolic and less than 90 diastolic may be medically certified to drive for a two-year period.
  • A driver with a BP of 140 – 159 systolic and /or a BP of 90-99 diastolic, has stage 1 hypertension, and may be medically certified to drive for a one-year period. Certification examinations should be done annually thereafter and should be at or less than 140/90.
  • A driver with a a BP of 160-179 systolic and/or a BP of 100-109 diastolic, has stage 2 hypertension, and is a candidate for antihypertensive drug therapy. The driver is given a one-time certification of three months to reduce his or her blood pressure to less than or equal to 140/90. Provided treatment is well tolerated and the driver demonstrates a BP value of 140/90 or less, he or she may be re-certified for one year from the date of the initial exam. The driver is certified annually thereafter.
  • A driver with a BP at or greater than 180 systolic and / or 110 diastolic has stage 3 hypertension and is disqualified. The driver may not be qualified, even temporarily, until blood pressure is reduced to equal to or less than 140/90 and treatment is well tolerated. The driver may be certified for 6 months and biannually (every 6 months) thereafter if at recheck BP is equal to or less than 140/90.

Drivers with  Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, or kidney disease require treatment if their blood pressure rises above 130/80, since they already have a high risk of heart disease.

Q. How do overweight truck drivers pass the DOT physical?

Being overweight is not a restriction to passing the DOT Physical exam. It is the medical conditions that being overweight eventually leads to, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease, that may affect your ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle. That is what the DOT Physical exam will determine – whether you have any of these restrictive medical conditions. Getting healthy and staying healthy is your best guarantee for your life and your livelihood.

Q. How much does a DOT physical cost without insurance?

We’ve seen DOT physicals charged anywhere between $50 and $100. We charge the same price whether you have insurance or not. Payment for our DOT Physical service is $55.00.

Q. Is there a difference between a DOT medical and a DOT physical?

No. These terms are used interchangeably. They are most often referred to as a DOT medical when referring to the DOT medical card, and DOT physical when referring to the DOT physical exam, and sometimes drivers refer to them as a CDL physical or CDL medical.

Q. How many 3-month DOT medical cards can you have?

One only. You should have the condition, which caused the restriction, under control by the end of the 3-month window.

Q. What are the DOT physical requirements?

  • The best way to understand the DOT physical requirements is to go through the checklist that the medical examiner goes through to conduct the physical exam. Here is a link to the FMCSA Medical Examination Report form.
  • If you want to see the long, official legalese version here is a link to FMCSA Part 391.41.

Q. Does a DOT physical include a drug test?

Drug testing is not part of a DOT Physical exam but your Company may request to have drug alcohol testing done at the same time. DOT drug testing and breath alcohol testing are additional charges.

Q. What drugs are tested for, if a DOT drug test is requested?

The 5 Panel drug test analyzes urine for the following drugs:
o    Marijuana (THC metabolite)
o    Cocaine
o    Amphetamines
o    Opiates (including heroin)
o    Phencyclidine (PCP)

Q. What’s involved in a DOT physical?

The process is pretty straight forward. We can complete your physical in 30 minutes.

Q. Why do I have to have a urine test?

The urine test is just a kidney screen to test for sugar and protein. It’s done to determine that there is no early onset of conditions like high blood pressure breaking down the kidneys, or early signs of diabetes, or kidney infection.

Q. Can I obtain a copy of my DOT physical form?

Yes. You will get 2 copies of the long-form. One for the driver, one for the Company. If you need, we will fax the DOT form to your company. The examining doctor keeps a copy of the form for our office records.

 

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