Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements for Tow Truck Drivers in Texas: Ensuring Public Safety

Jul 28, 2023

Tow truck drivers play a vital role in ensuring public safety on Texas roads. To maintain a safe and drug-free work environment, the state of Texas has implemented strict drug and alcohol testing requirements for tow truck drivers. In this blog post, we will explore the specific guidelines established by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations (TDLR) and provide credible sources to support the information presented.

Pre-Employment Testing

Pre-employment drug and alcohol testing is an essential component of the hiring process for tow truck drivers in Texas. According to the TDLR, potential employees must undergo drug and alcohol screening before they can be employed in a safety-sensitive position such as operating a tow truck.

This test uses the same panel as the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA sets the guidelines for drug testing procedures and substance categories to be screened for, which typically include marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and Phencyclidine (PCP).

Random Testing

Random drug and alcohol testing is another critical requirement for tow truck drivers in Texas. The TDLR requires employers to conduct random testing throughout an employee’s tenure to deter substance abuse and ensure a drug-free workplace. At least 25 percent of the total number of employees must be tested at random every year.

While the following random testing mandates are not part of the TDLR requirements at this time, FMCSA, random testing must be conducted using a scientifically valid method of selecting employees. Employers are required to use a random selection process that ensures fairness and impartiality. The percentage of employees to be randomly tested is determined annually by the FMCSA, with the aim of testing a significant portion of the workforce. DATCS can easily set your company up on a random pool to ensure that your test and truly random, provide you with a lay of protection against claims of unfair workplace discrimination and keep you ahead of the game in the ever-changing world of compliance.

Post-Accident Testing

Post-accident drug and alcohol testing is mandatory for tow truck drivers involved in significant accidents. The TDLR requires employers to conduct testing within a specified timeframe following an accident to determine if drugs or alcohol contributed to the incident.

The FMCSA provides clearer guidelines on when post-accident testing should be conducted. According to their regulations, testing is required if the accident resulted in a fatality, if a citation was issued to the tow truck driver involved, or if the accident required the towed vehicle to be removed from the scene by a wrecker.

Reasonable Suspicion Testing

When employers have reasonable suspicion that a tow truck driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are required to conduct testing. Reasonable suspicion is based on specific observations of behavior and physical appearance that indicate impairment.

The FMCSA stipulates that employers should receive training on recognizing signs of drug and alcohol impairment to ensure fair and accurate testing. The training should include documentation procedures and guidelines for establishing reasonable suspicion. DATCS provides this mandatory training for companies required to maintain FMCSA regulation and we can also train TDLR compliant companies who wish keep their company and community as safe as possible.

The drug and alcohol testing requirements for tow truck drivers in Texas are crucial for maintaining a safe working environment and ensuring public safety. Pre-employment testing, random testing, post-accident testing, and reasonable suspicion testing all contribute to minimizing the risks associated with impaired driving.

By adhering to these testing requirements, tow truck drivers in Texas demonstrate their commitment to upholding high standards in the industry and prioritizing the safety of themselves and the public they serve. The implementation of these testing protocols highlights the state’s dedication to reducing accidents and promoting responsible practices within the towing profession.