Drug Testing For Drivers

The use of drugs has several effects on the brain and the rest of the body. These changes may be pleasant for the person but they can be dangerous under certain situations. For example, those who are operating machines may find themselves unable to control the equipment with their usual swiftness of hands and clarity of mind. This is often true when driving. Many accidents involve drug use and some of them have resulted in fatal injuries. Due to the increased risk, driving while under the influence of drugs is illegal. States have passed their own laws regarding the matter with harsh penalties for those who are proven guilty in court.

Regular Motorists
In most places, a person does not have to undergo drug testing just to get a regular license. You just have to pass the written and the practical exam. Of course, license holders must be aware of their responsibilities and the rules of the road. Consuming certain substances that can affect perception, decision-making, and motor control like alcohol and illicit drugs is heavily frowned upon. If someone is caught driving while high on substances, then he can be arrested on the spot. Dead giveaways include excessive speeding, swerving, and other risky behaviors. These put other people’s lives in danger. Officers may follow the car and ask the driver to pull over for questioning. A lab test should follow for confirmation.

Commercial Drivers
Commercial drivers are basically employed to drive. Like many other employees, they usually have to undertake a drug test and get a negative result before they can be hired. This is an important part of their application. It may be repeated several times during the course of their employment as well. Employers want to minimize the risk to their business. They do not want drug users who statistically have a higher chance of involvement in collisions. It would be bad for their fleet, their reputation, and their finances. If the drivers are carrying passengers such as in a bus, then being high can be a recipe for disaster.

Penalties for a Positive Result in a Drug Test
For regular drivers found guilty of DUI, the penalties may include license suspension, large fines, and jail time. The severity increases with the number of convictions and the gravity of the situation when they were arrested. First offenders may be able to get off lightly with a good attorney. Repeat offenders, on the other hand, are likely to face more serious sentences. The same basic rules apply for commercial drivers but the latter will probably lose their job as well.

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