Commercial Truck Driver Accident

Do Commercial Truck Drivers Take A Drug Test After an Accident?

Mar 6, 2024 | 18-Wheeler Accident

The article was Last Updated on

When navigating the aftermath of a trucking accident in Texas, understanding the regulatory landscape surrounding drug and alcohol testing for commercial truck drivers is crucial. The immense size and momentum of an 18-wheeler make any accident potentially devastating. Therefore, the sobriety of truck drivers is not just a matter of legal compliance but of public safety. Yet, contrary to what many might assume, Texas commercial truck drivers are not automatically required to submit to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) drug test immediately following an accident.

When Are Truck Drivers Tested?

The procedure for drug and alcohol testing post-accident involves several key steps and conditions. Initially, law enforcement officials responding to the accident scene will assess the situation to determine if there’s a suspicion of intoxication. This suspicion could be triggered by various indicators such as the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, or erratic behavior.

If suspicion arises, the officer may administer a field sobriety test (such as walking in a straight line). Failure of this test leads to more definitive testing methods like blood, breath, or urine tests. If these subsequent tests confirm intoxication, it results in the driver’s immediate citation and arrest. Observing evidence of intoxication and reporting it to the police can support a personal injury lawsuit. This can significantly strengthen your claim accident claim.

Trucking Company Responsibilities

It’s not only law enforcement that plays a role in testing for substance abuse post-accident. FMCSA regulations stipulate situations where the trucking company itself must conduct drug and alcohol testing on the driver, including when an accident results in:

  • Injuries requiring medical treatment beyond first aid, paired with a police citation,
  • Vehicle damage necessitating towing, coupled with a police citation, or
  • Fatality, regardless of a citation being issued.

The testing must be conducted as swiftly as possible following the accident. However, there’s a time limit: no requirement for alcohol testing exists after eight hours. For a controlled substance, this window extends to 32 hours. Should a trucking company fail to conduct the required tests within these timeframes, they must provide the FMCSA with a detailed explanation for this oversight.

The Consequences of DUI for Truck Drivers

The seriousness with which DUI offenses are treated is reflected in the stringent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits. These limits are —0.04%, half of the 0.08% limit applicable to most drivers. Any truck driver who surpasses this limit faces immediate suspension from driving duties. Furthermore, to regain their commercial driving license involves a rigorous process, including evaluation and treatment for substance abuse, passing subsequent drug or alcohol tests, and agreeing to follow-up testing.

Given the severe impact of truck accidents, having skilled legal representation is essential. A knowledgeable lawyer can navigate the complexities of your case. They ensure that all relevant drug and alcohol testing protocols were followed and leveraging any breaches to strengthen your claim. Moreover, an experienced attorney can help illuminate the broader context of your accident. They can take into account the driver’s sobriety, the trucking company’s adherence to FMCSA regulations, and any resulting liabilities.

Choosing a dedicated and experienced lawyer like Walker Texas Lawyer can significantly influence the outcome of your case. With a comprehensive understanding of the specifics of trucking law and a commitment to advocating for his clients, Walker can provide the expert guidance and robust representation needed in the wake of a trucking accident.

For those impacted by such an incident, reaching out to Walker Texas Lawyer ensures that you have an advocate prepared to fight for your rights. He is committed to securing the compensation you deserve. Whether contending with the immediate aftermath of an accident or navigating the complex legal landscape that follows, having a seasoned professional by your side can make all the difference.


For more information, contact Houston’s accident law firm of Walker Texas Lawyer by calling (713) 552-1117.

Walker Texas Lawyer
3100 Timmons Ln Suite #401
Houston, TX 77027

Walker Texas Lawyer – Pasadena
4008 Vista Rd Suite #202B
Pasadena, TX 77504


(713) 552-1117


FAQ Resources

Follow US

Our Offices


Walker Texas Lawyer - (Principal Office)

3100 Timmons Ln Suite 401
Houston, Tx 77027


Call: (713) 552-1117

Houston - Montrose Location

Walker Texas Lawyer - (Montrose Location)

2238 Richmond Avenue
Houston, Tx 77098


Call: (713) 280-7985


Walker Texas Lawyer - (Pasadena Office)

4008 Vista Rd Suite 202A
Pasadena, TX 77504


Call: (281) 545-5158

Texas City

Walker Texas Lawyer Arena

9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway
Texas City, Tx 77591


Call: (713) 331-6848



Areas We Serve

Walker Texas Lawyer is located in Houston, just off the southwest freeway near the corner of Edloe St and West Alabama St. We serve clients throughout Texas. Injured in a car, motorcycle, offshore, or industrial accident? We can help you get the compensation you deserve. The following are some areas we serve:

About Walker Texas Lawyer

James Walker - Walker Texas Lawyer James Walker is a Personal Injury Attorney in Houston, Texas. He has over 40 years of legal experience and has helped over 25,000 clients. This means he has demonstrated his extensive knowledge of legal procedures. He knows how to handle insurance companies. If insurance companies refuse to give you a fair shake, they will take the insurance companies to court. He knows the law inside and out. He knows what he’s doing.

Walker will try to settle your case without going to court. But if that doesn’t work, he is ready and prepared to take your case before a judge. He is Houston’s Personal Injury Lawyer for a reason; he will fight for you, seek the maximum compensation on your behalf, and make sure you get what you deserve after an accident.