Reasonable suspicion training, whether it is DOT or Non-DOT, is highly important for your supervisors. You must also know that your business, as well as supervisors, will be able to receive the tools and information necessary to satisfy the federal requirement with the help of DOT and Non-DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training.

It is also worth mentioning that your supervisors will be better prepared for challenging circumstances and the timely decisions that must be made. If you are interested in learning more about this training and how it works, and if you wish to have a safer environment on the road, then keep reading this article.

Reasonable Suspicion Training

While training on reasonable suspicion is mandatory for all employees covered by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and also the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), it can also protect non-DOT organizations from a variety of legal consequences. According to recent studies, the potential liability may be far more serious than previously believed.

Researchers have found that truck drivers frequently use alcohol, amphetamines, cannabis, as well as cocaine to get through their lengthy, exhausting, plus isolating hours on the road.

According to research, 30 percent of truck drivers worldwide and 50 percent of truck drivers overall acknowledged using amphetamines while working.

It is also believed that the highest frequency of alcohol used was found in the United States in the trucking industry, which is around 12.5 percent of alcohol tests worldwide.

Who requires reasonable suspicion training?

Those individuals working in the departments including airlines, railroad, trucking, transportation, transit, maintenance of way, hazardous materials as well as pipeline, mainly supervise employees (governed workers) under the FTA, FMCSA, FRA, FAA, as well as PHMSA, are all required to complete the dot reasonable suspicion training.

Do supervisors need to be trained?

Yes, supervisors must be trained to decide whether an individual should submit to a Reasonable Suspicion drug as well as alcohol test in compliance with Federal Department of Transportation Agency restrictions.

It is worth mentioning that this workshop on reasonable suspicion is intended to help managers, supervisors, as well as business executives understand the effects of drug and alcohol usage on the workplace as well as the environment.

To add on, you can also easily fulfill the DOT’s mandatory training requirements with the help of such a course.

What does reasonable suspicion training include?

The following acute signs of drug and alcohol use are frequently included in reasonable suspicion training:

•       Appearance

•       Movements

•       Behavior

•       Speech

•       Balance

•       Mood

•       Odor

Additionally, training should also cover the following

•       A list of the several substances that could be abused.

•       A summary of all current and proposed DOT regulations and rules about reasonable suspicion or, in the situation of non-DOT employers, any further state or federal requirements that may be applicable.

•       An overview of alcohol and drug testing procedures, outcomes, as well as consequences.

•       The duty of a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) as well as the duty of a Medical Review Officer (MRO).

Additionally, it will also talk about what to expect after a reasonable suspicion finding, such as employee interviewing, interventions, confirmatory testing, as well as documentation. Particularly when it comes to the documenting of reasonable suspicion, DOT has very tight guidelines.

Any activities involving a reasonable suspicion, for instance, must be recorded within 24 hours following the incident.

What happens if there is insufficient training?

If one is unable to provide their supervisors with the proper reasonable suspicion training, then there may be some bad consequences. It is worth mentioning that there may result in fines as well as penalties for an employer covered by the FMCSA and DOT.

Failure to adequately train supervisors can also result in greater liability for all employers, whether or not they are DOT-covered.

First, if you accuse an employee incorrectly and break labor laws, you could face additional liabilities. And then, secondly comes the risk of continuing to let a driver who is impaired by drugs or alcohol operate a vehicle. 

Do keep in mind that your business may be responsible for paying a portion of the high liability expenses resulting from an accident caused by a drunk driver.

The difference between DOT and Non-DOT training

A minimum of two hours of training on reasonable suspicion must be completed by every Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as well as DOT-covered supervisor before they can be trusted to make a reasonable suspicion assessment.

You must keep in mind that at least 60 minutes of instruction on alcohol usage, as well as 60 minutes of instruction on drug use, must be included in this session. Owner-operators are exempt from this training requirement. However, they are still required to join a consortium for random testing.

Furthermore, you should know that even though there are no regulations managing reasonable suspicion training for supervisors within non-DOT roles, it is still strongly advised that the same attention be used in training to prevent expensive mistakes as well as potential legal concerns. 

The majority of companies that propose reasonable suspicion training for non-DOT goals offer programs that are roughly the same length as DOT programs.

Moving on, it is also worth noting that many of the subjects covered in DOT, as well as non-DOT reasonable suspicion training, are similar. The major goal of DOT reasonable suspicion training is to make sure that supervisors can easily recognize and decide whether to send DOT as well as safety-sensitive employees for additional testing before allowing them to resume driving.

On the other hand, for non-DOT employers, the main focus is on recognizing the signs or any symptoms of alcohol or drug use to keep the organization from unnecessary liabilities as well as to ensure that the appropriate solutions are given.

Lastly, you should also know that for DOT-regulated employers, reasonable suspicion must be supported by current or recent observations that can be articulated as well as detailed, whereas a non-DOT reasonable suspicion for employers can be supported by persistent, recurrent, and also cumulative symptoms.


I hope this article has helped you understand what DOT and Non-DOT reasonable suspicion training is, how it is conducted and why it is so necessary. You must know that if your business is one of the numerous ones that hire DOT-covered employees as well as non-DOT employees, your supervisors will need to balance two quite different standards for what constitutes reasonable suspicion.

Your supervisors can benefit from and be guaranteed to get both DOT as well as non-DOT reasonable suspicion training with the support of a reliable workplace drug and alcohol policy.