Policy Number: 11-005

Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Drug Testing

Category: Human Resources

Responsible Executive: Vice President for Human Resources

Responsible Office: Human Resources

1. Policy Statement

This policy affirms the University of Florida’s commitment to providing an environment free of the abuse of alcohol and the illegal use of drugs and alcohol in accordance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, and, specifically, its compliance with the drug and alcohol testing provisions of the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 (OTETA) as set forth in 49 CFR, Parts 40 and 382. 

2. Applicability

This policy applies to anyone who operates a University of Florida commercial motor vehicles. This includes but not limited to regularly employed drivers, as well as casual and intermittent or occasional drivers. 

3. Definitions

Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse): the FMCSA database that subpart G of this part requires employers and service agents to report information to and to query regarding drivers who are subject to the DOT controlled substance and alcohol testing regulations.

Commercial Motor Vehicle, as defined by OTETA:  A motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the vehicle

  1. Has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater; or
  2. Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 or more pounds), whichever is greater; or
  3. Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
  4. Is of any size and is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 5103(b)) and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 172, subpart F).

Follow-up Testing: Required for drivers who tested positive, refused, or otherwise violated the prohibitions of 49 CFR Part 382 Subpart B; and who have completed the return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional, and have tested negative for a return-to-duty test. This testing is prescribed by the substance abuse professional for a minimum of 6 directly observed tests in 12 months, but can be extended an additional four years

Misconduct:  Conduct, on or off working hours, that adversely affects the employee’s ability to continue to perform his/her safety-sensitive functions, or which adversely affects UF’s ability to carry out its assigned mission.

On-duty time means all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work.

On-duty time shall include:

  1. Waiting to be dispatched.
  2. All time inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle at any time;
  3. All time in or on a commercial motor vehicle,
  4. All time loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle, supervising, or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a commercial motor vehicle being loaded or unloaded, remaining in readiness to operate the commercial motor vehicle, or in giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded;
  5. All time repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled commercial motor vehicle;
  6. All time spent providing a breath sample or urine specimen, including travel time to and from the collection site, to comply with the random, reasonable suspicion, post-crash, or follow-up testing required by part 382 of this subchapter when directed by a motor carrier;
  7. Performing any other work in the capacity, employ, or service of, a motor carrier; and
  8. Performing any compensated work for a person who is not a motor carrier.

OperatorAny person who operates a commercial motor vehicle. This includes, but is not limited to: Full time, regularly employed drivers; casual, intermittent or occasional drivers. This includes students and volunteers.

Post-Accident Testing: As soon as practical following an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle, the University must test for alcohol and controlled substances for each surviving driver when either:

  • The accident involved fatality, or
  • The driver receives a citation under state or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, and
  • The damage to the vehicle requires towing

An operator involved in an accident requiring Post-Accident Testing will be placed on immediate leave pending the results of the test.

Pre-Employment: An employer must receive a negative drug test results before permitting a CDL driver to operate a CMV. Pre-Employment applies to a driver returns to work after a layoff period when the driver has not been subject to random controlled substance testing for more than 30 days or has been employed by another entity.

Random Testing: CDL drivers must be randomly tested through the year according to Federal Regulations. Random Testing can include Alcohol and Controlled Substance Testing.

Reasonable Suspicion: Drivers who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be immediately tested.

Return-to-Duty TestingRequired for drivers who tested positive, refused, or otherwise violated the prohibitions of 49 CFR Part 382 Subpart B; and who have completed the return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional. The test is directly observed, and a negative result is required before resuming driving duties.

Safety-sensitive function:  All time beginning when the driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work, until the time he/she is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work.

Supervisor: Any individual who is designated to supervise CDL drivers. Supervisors need to be able to recognize signs of drugs and alcohol use that supports reasonable suspicion testing.

Supervisor/Operator: Any individual who will be operating a commercial motor vehicle and is designed to supervise CDL drivers.

Trainee Status is applied when the employee has not passed a required examination but meets the minimum qualifications for the position; the employee is not fully qualified but is expected to acquire such qualification in a period of time determined by the hiring authority. 

4. Policy Specifics

Under OTETA, the University of Florida is required to conduct U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pre-employment physical examinations and federal mandated drug tests on employees who are required to possess a commercial driver license in order to perform the duties of their job. Physical examinations and drug tests are required prior to employment and then on an on-going basis to include random testing, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return to duty testing (if on leave for more than 30 days).  These testing requirements remain in effect for the duration of time that the employee is required to operate a commercial motor vehicle.


4.1 CMVO Testing

As established in OTETA, and as set forth in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations, all individuals who must operate or be available to operate a commercial motor vehicle in order to perform the duties of their jobs are considered to be performing a “safety-sensitive function.”

This policy identifies individuals who perform such duties as Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators (CMVOs).

Prior to and as a condition of employment in CMVO-identified positions, applicants are required by law and university policy to submit to federally mandated alcohol and drug testing. Once employed, CMVOs are required to submit to on-going random alcohol and drug testing as a condition of continued employment.

Under this policy, a CMVO who tests positive during an alcohol or drug test, performed in accordance with the provisions of federal law, shall no longer be eligible to perform CMVO duties for the university.

In addition to the initial examination and testing required by OTETA, this law further requires that the university conduct ongoing random breath alcohol and urine drug tests on all individuals, to include but not limited to employees and volunteers, required to meet the criteria as listed in this policy.

Tracking the university’s CMVOs presents a unique challenge. Therefore, departments are responsible for ensuring that individuals who meet the criteria as listed in this policy are registered with UFHR – Employee Relations.


4.2 Types of Testing

The following are the various types of testing which may be required:

  • Pre-employment Testing
  • Random Testing
  • Reasonable Suspicion Testing
  • Post-Accident Testing
  • Return to Duty Testing
  • Follow-up Testing


4.3 What are the Consequences of refusing to submit to testing?

What constitutes a refusal to submit to an alcohol or controlled substance test?

Refusal to submit (to an alcohol or controlled substance test) – occurs when an employee: (1) Fails to provide adequate breath for testing without a valid medical explanation after he or she has received notice for the requirement for breath testing, (2) Fails to provide adequate urine for controlled substances testing without a valid medical explanation, after he or she received notice of the requirement for urine testing, or (3) Engages in conduct that clearly obstructs the testing process.

How do I notify employees they have been selected for testing?

Every employee should be discreetly notified that they have to go for a test by his or her supervisor. Testing must be conducted in strict confidence with only a limited number of company officials having knowledge of the selection. The University of Florida has procedures in place to ensure that each employee receives no advanced notice of selection.

After an employee is notified of their selection, how long do they have to get to the collection site?

When an employee is notified, he or she must proceed immediately to the collection site. Immediately means that after notification, all the employee’s actions must lead to an immediate specimen collection.

What is split specimen testing?

At the collection site, a collector will pour an employee’s urine into two separate bottles – Bottle A [Primary] and Bottle B [Split]. The collector sends both to the laboratory where Bottle A gets tested. If the MRO reports the employee’s test result as positive or as a refusal to test because it was adulterated or substituted, the MRO will offer the employee an opportunity to have the Bottle B – the Split – tested at another laboratory. The split test is an independent way to determine if the primary test results were accurate.

The employee has 72 hours to request the split test. Upon getting the request, the MRO must immediately have the primary laboratory send the split to another HHS-certified laboratory for testing. Congress gave the employee the right to have the split tested, so if the employee asks to have the spilt tested, the test must happen no matter who pays for it. No one can insist on payment before the test occurs, either. However, it is between you and the employee who ultimately will pay. It is your responsibility to get the test accomplished without delay and regardless of who pays.

What is used for Alcohol Testing?

DOT alcohol screening tests are conducted using either breath or saliva. DOT alcohol confirmation tests must be conducted using Evidential Breath Testing Devices (EBTs) that only analyze breath.


4.4 Types of Operators

There are three employee categories in the CMVO Program (see definitions above):

  • Operator
  • Supervisor
  • Supervisor/Operator

The Supervisor needs supervisor training only and does not require a license or drug/alcohol testing.  The other two categories of Operator and Supervisor/Operator require the license, physical, training, and drug/alcohol testing.


4.5 Hiring Steps

Basic hiring steps that must be taken and cleared for a department to hire an applicant:

  1. The department identifies safety-sensitive positions and notifies the CMVO Program Coordinator.
  2. The applicant must have the required license and required endorsement listed in the Position Description (see Required Language for Position Descriptions section). If the job offer is made to an individual who does not currently hold a CDL License, the job is contingent on the applicant being placed in Trainee Status for an initial six months, and he/she will have no legal authority to operate a UF Commercial Motor Vehicle. An applicant remains in Trainee Status until successfully obtaining his/her CDL License or up to one year (up to the department’s discretion). If the trainee fails to obtain the CDL License within this time frame, they are subject to dismissal from their position.
    • A review of the candidate’s driving record will be completed and approved by the CMVO Program Coordinator. Each candidate’s record will be reviewed, and the final determination will be made by the CMVO Administration on whether the applicant can move forward in the hiring steps (see CMVO Safe-Driver Requirements section for more information). No applicant will be approved to move forward in the hiring process if he/she has received more than one traffic law conviction for a moving violation during any consecutive twelve (12) month period.
  3. All applicants must pass a DOT Physical (see Medical Fitness section for more information).
  4. For any applicant who already holds a CDL License, the CVMO Coordinator must process a Request for Information form for applicant’s prior employer drug/alcohol testing records. Starting January 6, 2019, the University will check all applicant’s drug and alcohol program violations through the FMCSA Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (see definition Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse below).
  5. The applicant must undergo drug training, including a Pre-Employment Drug Test. All applicants will be cleared after steps 1-5 are successfully completed, and the CMVO Program Coordinator receives a negative pre-employment drug testing result.
  6. Any person who is offered a position in the University Commercial Motor Vehicle program must follow all hiring steps and satisfy all requirements as outlined above. If an individual is hired into a safety-sensitive position without being cleared by the CVMO Coordinator. The individual may be subject to dismissal.


4.6 Required Language for Position Descriptions

The position description for any supervisor position where supervision of CMVOs is required must include the following required language:

According to the Federal Highway Administration and Florida Department of Transportation requirements, this position supervises positions that operate a commercial motor vehicle. Under the Federal Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, any potential employee must complete mandatory drug and alcohol “reasonable suspicion” education training as a condition of employment in this position.

The position description for an operator where a CMVO license is required must include the following required language:

This position is covered by the Federal Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991.  Individuals applying for this position or incumbents of this position are required to hold a valid commercial driver’s license as a condition of employment. The act requires that all such individuals be subject to pre-employment and continuing post-employment drug and alcohol testing. Failure to comply with such testing is grounds for dismissal from employment with the University.

The position description should also specify the type of CDL that the employee must obtain (i.e., “A”, “B”, or “C,” and any other endorsements).


4.7 Medical Fitness

To be hired into a CMVO position, one of the hiring steps is that the incumbent must pass a physical for commercial driver fitness determination. A DOT physical follows strict guidelines mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and is a conducted by a licensed medical examiner listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) National Registry. The first physical would be the pre-employment physical. A DOT physical exam is valid for up to a maximum of two years (does not include school bus drivers).  The medical examiner may issue a medical card for less than two years when more frequent monitoring of a medical condition is needed.

If the person fails the medical exam, the CMVO Program Coordinator will notify the department that the employee cannot drive any UF vehicle. The FMCSA physical examination is required to help ensure that a person is medically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely. In the interest of public safety, CMV drivers are held to higher physical, mental and emotional standards than passenger drivers.


4.8 CMVO Safe-Driver Requirements

The University of Florida has a legal obligation to ensure that UF CMVOs, which include school bus drivers, have the mental and physical ability to perform their safety-sensitive functions. The university is further legally bound to ensure that its CMVOs are not impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs. Beyond that however, but equally as important, the university has a fiduciary responsibility to its students, faculty, staff, guests and other parties to ensure that the conduct of a CMVO, whether on and off the job, raises no issues of confidence or concern regarding that individual’s ability to perform the safety-sensitive functions of his or her job.

UF’s Commercial Motor Operator Program is responsible, not only for drug and alcohol testing, but for all issues involving the licensure, health and behavior of CMVOs. That means that CMVO Program Coordinator must ensure compliance with Federal and State laws and the University of Florida’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy and Drug-Free Workplace Statement.

To that end, a current or prospective CMVO whose actions constitute misconduct.

Examples of CMVO Misconduct include but are not limited to:

  • Testing positive on a UF CMVO drug or alcohol test.
  • Reporting for duty or remaining on duty to perform safety sensitive-functions while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater.
  • Using alcohol while performing safety-sensitive functions.
  • Using alcohol within four (4) hours of performing safety-sensitive functions.
  • Using alcohol up to eight (8) hours following an accident or until the employee undergoes a post-accident test, whichever occurs first.
  • Refusing to submit to an alcohol or controlled substance test required by post-accident, random reasonable suspicion or follow-up testing requirements.
  • Reporting for duty or remaining on duty, requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions, when the employee uses any controlled substance, except when instructed by a physician who has advised the employee and the University that the substance does not adversely affect the employee’s ability to safely operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle.
  • Reporting for duty, remaining on duty or performing a safety-sensitive function, if the employee tests positive for controlled substances.
  • If a result of the employee’s alcohol test indicates a breath alcohol concentration of greater than 0.02 but less than 0.04, the employee is not permitted to perform safety-sensitive functions until the start of the next regularly scheduled duty period, but not less than 24 hours following the administration of the test.
  • Conviction, nolo contendere /guilty plea, or adjudication of guilt withheld for any offense involving a controlled substance.
  • Suspension of driving privileges resulting from impairment or intoxication caused by alcohol or drug use.
  • Failing to immediately report to the CMVO Drug Testing Program Office any citation received from law enforcement involving drugs or alcohol.
  • Operating a vehicle without a valid license.
  • Motor vehicle violations involving the operation of a school bus or occurring in a school zone.
  • Failing to immediately report to the CMVO Drug Testing Program Office any citation received from law enforcement involving a moving violation.
  • Receiving more than one traffic law conviction for a moving violation during any consecutive twelve (12) month period.

Findings of misconduct could result in consequences, including loss of privilege to operate university-associated vehicles and motorized equipment, and discipline up to and including dismissal from the University of Florida.

Note that a department is not obligated to provide work to an employee facing disciplinary action for a violation of any process, procedure, regulation or regulation enforced by the University’s CMVO Drug Testing Program.


4.9 Clearing House

The following information will be collected and maintained under this section and shall be reported to the Clearinghouse (see definition Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse above):

(i) A verified positive, adulterated, or substituted drug test result;

(ii) An alcohol confirmation test with a concentration of 0.04 or higher;

(iii) A refusal to submit to any test required by subpart C of this part;

(iv) An employer’s report of actual knowledge, as defined at §382.107:

(A) On duty alcohol use pursuant to §382.205;

(B) Pre-duty alcohol use pursuant to §382.207;

(C) Alcohol use following an accident pursuant to §382.209; and

(D) Controlled substance use pursuant to §382.213;

(v) A substance abuse professional (SAP as defined in §40.3 of this title) report of the successful completion of the return-to-duty process;

(vi) A negative return-to-duty test; and

(vii) An employer’s report of completion of follow-up testing. 

5. Review and Adjudication

UFHR – Employee Relations administers the University’s CMVO Testing Program. UFHR-Employee Relations ensures that the program complies with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws, and all policies, procedures, and rules of the University of Florida.

Questions regarding this program should be directed to the CMVO program office at:

UFHR – Employee Relations
903 W. University Avenue
P.O. Box 115003
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-4940
CMVO@hr.ufl.edu (to expedite a response, please include the phrase “CMVO Policy” in the subject line of any email inquiries or reports) 

6. Policy Violations

Failure to comply with this policy could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Additional Resources

Resources are available to employees in safety-sensitive positions or to those having difficulties due to drug abuse and/or drug addiction. The following information is provided to individuals covered by the University of Florida CMVO Drug Testing Policy.

UF Employee Assistance Program (EAP). By calling 833-306-0103, employees can receive individual consultation sessions or be referred to community providers or agencies for assistance in dealing with drug and alcohol abuse, among other wellness services. The EAP is free and confidential, for all UF faculty, staff, graduate assistants, non-student OPS employees, house staff/residents, and postdoc associates as well as their household members are eligible to receive services.

UF GatorWell Health Promotion Services, (352) 273-4450

Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., (352) 374-5600

Related Information
UF Drug-Free Workplace Policy

UF Drug Free School (Student Affairs)

UF Regulation 2.019 – Alcoholic Beverages


History:  Updated: 1-1-2014, Updated: 8-1-2016, Updated: 1-1-2019, Amended: 3-6-2019, Updated: 8-19-2019