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DOT Disqualifying Medications 2023 & 2024

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Feb. 8, 2024, 2:21 p.m.


Understanding DOT disqualifying medications in 2023-2024 is crucial to the future of your career. After all, certain types of medications can interfere with a driver’s ability to safely and legally operate a commercial motor vehicle. So, it is important for CDL drivers to educate themselves about the rules and regulations regarding drug use.

What Are the DOT Disqualifying Medications of 2023-2024?

Under DOT regulations, all drugs must be evaluated on an individual basis before they can be approved for use by a CDL driver. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published lists of prohibited substances that are not allowed for use by CDL drivers. These include illegal drugs such as:

  • marijuana
  • cocaine
  • heroin
  • LSD
  • methamphetamine

The FMCSA’s list also includes certain prescription medications like:

  • amphetamines
  • sedatives
  • hypnotics

Plus, there are over-the-counter medications on the FMCSA prohibited substance list including:

  • cough suppressants containing codeine
  • inhalants

What Is the DOT & FMCSA Disqualification Process?

Here is how DOT and FMCSA rules function when it comes to disqualifications. A driver will get disqualified if he or she uses any type of Scheduled I controlled substance. Even if a driver has a prescription for marijuana, the FMCSA will not allow prohibition to be lifted on marijuana at all. Also, say that you're a CDL driver that takes a prescription medication without having a valid prescription. That means you will be disqualified from driving.

Sure, there's the DOT physical. But CDL (commercial driver’s license) drivers also have to submit urine samples whenever there is a DOT drug test. The test will check for the use of illicit substances like marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP, and opiates.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also requires truck drivers to adhere to certain drug-testing regulations. These rules state that any driver taking a Schedule I or II controlled substance must disclose this information immediately and provide proof of valid prescription from a medical doctor. Drivers may also be disqualified for taking any other Schedule drugs, including amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and others that are habit-forming or narcotic.

It's important for CDL drivers get DOT Certification to understand the possible ramifications of these regulations if they take medications prescribed by their doctor. When a CDL driver has a valid prescription from a licensed medical doctor for a non-schedule I drug, they won’t be disqualified as long as the doctor officially states that the medication(s) will not impair the driver’s ability to operate commercial vehicles.

What Are DOT Physicals?

DOT physicals are required for individuals who wish to be certified as a commercial driver and operate a vehicle with 10,000 pounds or more of cargo. The procedure helps ensure that drivers are safe, healthy and fit to drive without putting themselves or others at risk. Medical professionals review the driver’s medical history during the exam and perform an examination. The exam will check that the driver is in good health.

Depending on the results of the physical exam, doctors or professionals may also be able to offer advice on how drivers can maintain their health while doing their job. By taking DOT physicals regularly, commercial drivers can ensure they are up-to-date with any changes in their health and stay safe behind the wheel.

Please let our organization know if you need more information about a list of prohibited drugs for CDL drivers. This web page features a brief summary of the list of DOT-banned medications. However, our experts can give you a full-scale list of DOT medication restrictions. This way, your carrier will have a list of disqualifying medications for CDL. You can even email us with a question like, “What prescription drugs are banned by DOT?” Then, our team can send you a DOT disqualifying prescription medications 2023-2024 PDF.

Who Must Undergo the DOT Physical?

These types of commercial drivers must receive their DOT physicals:

  • A driver operating a vehicle with a gross weight of over 10,001 pounds.
  • Any hazardous materials driver that must affix placarding to vehicles.
  • A driver who operates vehicles that carry at least eight people.
  • Any driver operating a vehicle that can carry more than fifteen people.

What Is the DOT Drug Testing Panel?

The DOT Drug Testing Panel is a standard drug test for workers in safety-sensitive positions regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT). It tests for five commonly abused substances. These include:

  • marijuana
  • cocaine
  • phencyclidine (PCP)
  • amphetamines
  • opiates

The DOT requires employers to perform these tests as part of their hiring process and randomly throughout the year. Employees who fail a drug test may be subject to disciplinary action or termination.

To ensure accurate results, all DOT drug tests are conducted using a certified laboratory and specimens are verified by Medical Review Officers. Employers must also keep records on file for each employee's drug test history. The DOT Drug Testing Panel is essential to maintaining workplace safety and upholding federal regulations.

More Information About the DOT Physical & Drug Use

It's essential to be truthful when it comes to disclosing your drug and supplement use during a DOT physical. If you don't, you could face severe consequences down the line. The DOT medical examiner may order additional testing or disqualify you from driving if they discover you've withheld information about your medications. So make sure you take the process seriously - honesty is key! It's better to be upfront with all of your health details so that everyone can agree on the best course of action for you and for safety on the road.

CMV drivers must understand the DOT disqualifying drugs list, as not being compliant can mean having their license suspended or revoked. While it may seem like a hassle to get a letter of clearance from your doctor, it’s worth taking the time to do so to stay safe and legal on the roads. And even if you do have the doctor’s okay, the medical examiner still has the final say on whether or not you can drive – so it pays to be prepared! Remember: knowledge is power when driving under the influence of medication. So, ensure you know what’s prohibited by staying up-to-date with all relevant regulations. Stay safe out there!

What Does the Average DOT Physical Feature?

  • Vision Test

Are you ready to see if your vision is up to the challenge? A CDL license requires drivers to have a minimum of 20/40 visual acuity in both eyes and 70″ peripheral vision. With regular eye exams and corrective eyewear maintenance, you can ensure your vision meets CDL standards and that you're ready for the road. Don't let a lack of clear sight keep you from being prepared for success. You must get tested. So, take charge and make sure your vision is up to snuff. A driver can schedule an appointment for a CDL-approved vision test today. It's the first step on your way toward becoming a successful commercial driver.

  • Hearing Test

If the driver cannot hear the examiner's forced whisper from five feet away, they will fail the hearing exam. Drivers are advised not to use any form of amplification device and must remove their hearing aid before taking the test in order to pass. If a driver has a hearing loss more significant than 40 decibels in their good ear, they will also fail this part of the licensing process. Drivers need to be aware that it is essential to pass all parts of the licensing examination in order to drive on public highways and roads properly. Failure to do so could result in serious penalties or license revocation under applicable law. Therefore, it is critical that drivers take all necessary steps to ensure that they meet all requirements.

  • Pulse Checks & Blood Pressure

After taking your blood pressure and pulse rate, the examiner will observe for any irregularities such as high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. If either of these conditions are present, you may be asked to receive further medical evaluation

  • Urine Test

The urine sample is tested for glucose, which can indicate diabetes. It is important to note that a positive result does not necessarily mean the driver has diabetes; it simply indicates that further examination is warranted.

  • Sleep Apnea Test

Say that a driver reports some of the following symptoms. He or she must take part in a DOT sleep apnea test. The test will check for:

  • heavy snoring
  • gasping when sleeping
  • daytime fatigue or drowsiness
  • dry mouth or sore throat when waking up
  • morning headaches

What Gets Checked During the DOT Physical Examination?

A DOT physical examination is a comprehensive health evaluation that must be passed in order for commercial drivers to receive their CDLs. The exam includes:

  • numerous components and tests
  • checking overall vision
  • checking overall hearing
  • taking the driver’s blood pressure reading
  • checking the function of major organs
  • testing reflexes and coordination

Drivers should make sure they are well-rested prior to the exam to ensure they do not have any problems on the day of the test. With all these factors taken into account, it is no wonder why DOT physical exams are so important for ensuring safety on our roads!

What Are the DOT’s Disqualifying Mental Conditions?

Drivers need to remember that a history of mental health issues does not automatically disqualify them from obtaining or keeping their commercial driver’s license. However, the following conditions and medications may result in disqualification:

  • Any diagnosis of schizophrenia or paranoid disorder/
  • The use of any scheduled drugs (aside from those medically prescribed).
  • A current diagnosis of alcoholism or substance abuse disorder.
  • Medication used to treat depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder/mania which could impact judgment, mood, behavior, alertness, coordination ability, etc. without regular physician monitoring.

How Much Are DOT Physicals?

The cost of a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical can vary widely and depend on what type of appointment you are looking for. Generally, the fees range from $60 to $150. Your doctor may also charge an additional fee if they need to perform any additional tests or services during your visit. You might be able to find discounted rates at some medical facilities, so it is worth checking around before scheduling an appointment.

Here is a quick overview of the typical costs involved in getting a DOT physical:

  • Initial physical exam fee: $60-$150
  • Drug screening (if necessary): $50-$100
  • Vision test: Free-$50
  • Hearing test: Free

Summary: The Basics of DOT Disqualifying Medications 2024

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all commercial drivers to follow the rules and regulations set out within the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 382.

This includes being aware of and avoiding using medications or substances that may affect their driving ability.

The DOT’s list of disqualifying medications includes: opioids for non-medical purposes, marijuana, amphetamines, sedatives/hypnotics, stimulants, and methylphenidate.

Drivers must know that some over-the-counter medicines, such as antihistamines, can also cause drowsiness, which could be dangerous while driving a commercial vehicle.

DOT strongly advises all drivers to consult with their doctors before being examined or tested through DOT processes.

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