Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Testing

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 3.1(9)
Reviewed: May 2016
Contact: Office of Risk Management (ORM)


The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 requires a use and testing program for controlled substances and alcohol for those employees required to have a commercial driver's license.

Policy Statement

Covered drivers include employees (faculty, P&S, Merit, student, or temporary) of Iowa State University performing a safety-sensitive function requiring the operation of a commercial motor vehicle:

  • Having a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds; or
  • Having a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds; or
  • Designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
  • Used to transport materials found to be hazardous and required to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations.

Required tests include pre-employment/pre-duty, reasonable suspicion, random, post-accident, and return to duty.

All applicants for positions covered under this testing program must be notified in writing that passing a drug test is a condition of employment. In addition, the university is required to obtain information on the selected applicant's positive alcohol and drug testing results for the preceding two years. Because this information can be obtained only with the written consent of the applicant, the consent becomes a condition of employment.

An offer of employment must be conditional based upon verification of previous testing results and passing a drug test.