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Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Drug Testing

Type of Policy: UFHR – ER
Effective Date: Unkown
Last Revised: March 5, 2019


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.


This policy applies to anyone who operates or performs maintenance on University of Florida commercial motor vehicles.

Policy Statement

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 for the duration of time that the employee is required to operate a commercial motor vehicle.


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, an individual may forfeit his or her eligibility to perform CMVO duties for other specified violations of law as set forth in the university’s CMVO Safe Driver Policy.

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 the first paragraph.

Tracking the university’s CMVOs presents a unique challenge. Therefore, departments are responsible for ensuring that individuals who meet the criteria as listed in the first paragraph are registered with UF – Human Resources.

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

Types of Operators

There are three employee categories in the CMVO Program (see definitions in (6) below):

  • 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.

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 Section 4.3). 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 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).
  3. A review of the candidate’s driving record will be completed and approved by the CMVO Program Coordinator.
  4. All applicants must pass a DOT Physical (see Medical Fitness section for more information).
  5. The applicant must undergo drug training including Pre-Employment Drug Test. All applicants will be cleared after the CMVO Program Coordinator receives a negative pre-employment drug testing result.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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).

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.

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.
  • 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.

Reporting Questions or Violations

UFHR – Employee Relations
903 W. University Avenue
P.O. Box 115000
Gainesville, FL 32611
Phone: (352) 392-4940
Email: EmployeeRelations@hr.ufl.edu (to expedite a response, please include the phrase “CMVO Policy” in the subject line of any email inquiries or reports)


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


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). The EAP is free and confidential, and all university employees, including Other Personal Services (OPS) employees, are eligible. Call: (352) 392-5787; Email: eaphelp@shcc.ufl.edu.

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

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


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.

Operator: Any 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 practicable following an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle, the University must test for alcohol and controlled substances 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.

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 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. 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.

Related Information

UF Drug-Free Workplace Policy

UF Drug Free School (Student Affairs)

UF Regulation 2.019 – Alcoholic Beverages

Policy History

Revision Date Author Description
Unknown Office of Human Resource Services Policy Adopted
01-01-2014 Office of Human Resource Services Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Drug & Alcohol Testing policy updated
08-01-2016 Office of Human Resource Services Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators Safe Driver & Medical Fitness Policy updated
01-01-2019 UFHR – Employee Relations Consolidated & updated the two policies into one Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator & Drug Testing Policy
03-06-2019 UFHR – Employee Relations Policy Change