Reasonable Suspicion Drug and Alcohol Supervisor Training

Posted August 7, 2020

A driver showing up for work impaired by alcohol and/or drugs is a serious problem. So serious that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all driver supervisors be trained in detecting use of drugs and alcohol by their drivers.

Training requirements

Under §382.603 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, each person responsible for supervising drivers must receive at least one hour of training on controlled substances abuse and an additional hour of training on alcohol misuse. The training must include the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances.

The bottom line — the training should be designed to help supervisors determine whether their suspicions are reasonable enough to require a driver to undergo drug and alcohol testing.

Qualified candidates

Reasonable suspicion training is not just required of those individuals who hold the title of supervisor in their organization. All individuals who supervise drivers must receive training.

This includes an organization’s safety director, operations manager, dispatcher, or any other person who supervises drivers. The regulation applies if an individual’s responsibilities include overseeing drivers.

Program priorities

When conducting training, it’s important to establish goals. Your training should:

  • Emphasize the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of drug and alcohol abuse;
  • Provide instruction to help supervisors approach drivers with concerns in a professional and rational manner;
  • Teach trainees how to initiate reasonable suspicion testing; and
  • Guide trainees on how to complete required documentation.

Once training is complete, continue to support your trainees. Make sure they know you have an open-door policy for anyone who has additional questions or needs to discuss their concerns privately.

Reasonable Suspicion

This Reasonable Suspicion Training curriculum is designed to help driver supervisors understand how to deal with a driver who may be impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. This program fully satisfies the requirements of 49 CFR 382.603.

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