CDL Drug and Alcohol Testing
Below, you will find frequently asked questions and additional information employers of commercial truck and bus drivers should know.
State law requires that employers report the names of commercial driver employees or applicants who refuse, fail, or alter a drug or alcohol test.
How do employers submit the names of employees or applicants who are in violation?
Employers should complete the Results of CDL Drug or Alcohol Testing (SCDMV Form CDL-18) and mail it to the address provided on the bottom of the form.
How long should employers keep the CDL-18 on file?
Employers must keep the form on file for three years. However, federal regulations require employers to retain copies of positive result tests and documentation of refusals to take alcohol and controlled substance tests for a period of five years.
For what reasons should an employee be reported for violating the CDL Drug Testing Act?
You should report an employee or applicant to the SCDMV if any of the following occur:
- Refusal to provide a specimen for a drug or alcohol test
- Positive test for drugs or alcohol
- Submission of an altered, diluted, or substituted specimen
What is a refusal to provide a specimen?
Refusal to take a drug or alcohol test is defined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
What happens to an employer that does not report a violation of the CDL Drug Testing Act?
An employer who knowingly fails to report an employee or applicant who violates the CDL Drug Testing Act may be fined up to $500. The employer may also be subject to a compliance review by the South Carolina State Transport Police or the FMCSA and may be subject to additional fines or penalties.
What are the consequences for an employer who hires a commercial driver in a safety sensitive position when the employer knows the employee is disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle?
The employer may be fined up to $2,000. The employer may also be subject to a compliance review by the South Carolina State Transport Police or the FMCSA and may be subject to additional fines or penalties.
What happens to a commercial driver who is reported for violating the CDL Drug Testing Act?
Commercial drivers who are reported for a CDL Drug Testing Act violation will be disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle within 20 days. The disqualification will be in place until the reinstatement process is complete. If a commercial driver is disqualified due to a drug or alcohol test violation more than three times within a five year period, he or she will be permanently disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle.
How can a disqualified commercial driver get his or her commercial driving privileges back?
He or she must complete an alcohol and drug abuse program approved by the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services and pay a $100 reinstatement fee to the SCDMV.
How can I be sure that the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) I choose is approved?
Contact the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services at 803-896-5555 or visit its website for a registry of approved SAP providers.
Can a commercial driver who is disqualified from operating commercial vehicles continue to operate non-commercial vehicles?
Yes. A commercial driver who has been disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle due to drug or alcohol test violations may get a non-commercial driver's license.
Will a disqualified commercial driver who reverts his or her commercial class license to a non-commercial status be required to retake the commercial driver's license tests once the disqualification has ended?
No. A commercial driver who reverts to a non-commercial status due to a drug or alcohol test violation will not be required to retake the commercial driver license tests once the disqualification has ended unless his or her driver license has been expired for more than nine months or has been disqualified for a year or more. However, because the commercial license is being reissued, a commercial driver with a hazmat endorsement may be subject to a Transportation Security Administration Threat Assessment. The expiration date on a CDL with a hazmat endorsement will be no greater than five years from the security threat assessment pass date.
SC Code Article 14, Chapter 1, Title 56