Can a CDL driver go back to safety-sensitive work after a post-accident alcohol and drug test, but before the results are known?

If there is another accident and the test comes back positive who is liable?

After an crash involving a fatality, or when there is an injury or a vehicle must be towed (and a citation is issued to the driver) a post-accident drug and alcohol test must be performed. You cannot prohibit the CDL driver from coming back to work while waiting for the test to be analyzed., but you can set a policy that the employee is to ‘stand-down’ (not perform safety-sensitive functions) until the test results are known. If you want to put a driver back into safety-sensitive functions, you should ask the employee to verify they are not under the influence. You must treat all employees the same and ‘you will not take any action adversely affecting the employee's pay and benefits pending the completion of the verification process.’

Crashed picj-up

Resources

Part 40 - Procedures for transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing programs – US DOT (pdf)

Drug Testing Handbook

What tests are required and when does testing occur? - FMCSA

Q&A on stand-down waivers - USDOT

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