Tow Operator

In 2007, in order to ensure public safety and create a professional environment in the industry, the Texas Department of Regulatory and Licensing became the governing body of the tow operators and vehicle storage facilities. Since that time, TDLR has continued to refine the statues affecting the industry. Click the link for towing santa clara

Chapter 86.710, which outlines the Responsibilities of Towing Companies, seems to be of particular debate. This chapter addresses the requirements of the TDLR and the towing industry in relation to drug and alcohol testing.

I have spoken to many owners/operators who claim that because they are “private property, or consent tow” only, or work for “ABC Company” and that these regulations do not apply to them. According to the TDLR, all operators and VSF employees are required to have drug screening. In fact, all companies are required to have a drug policy. Drug testing companies, who manage programs, called consortiums, and tow companies may have more astringent polices, but ALL tow truck operators, and VSF employees are subject to drug testing. Recently, the TDLR has implemented alcohol testing for operators at a random rate of 25%.

Here is the short and sweet version of what is required under 86.710.

1) A five-panel test is required. A five-panel screens for THC (marijuana), Cocaine, Opiates, PCP and Amphetamines /methamphetamines. (Again, these are the minimum and companies may choose to screen more extensively, i.e. 10 panel tests)

2) A certified lab, such as Medtox, Quest, Labcorp must be used. This is only common sense as these labs have trained technicians’ and MRO’s. (An MRO is a license doctor who has specific training in drug and alcohol abuse.)

3) Split specimens. A “split” means one specimen is collected and from the one specimen, two vials are filled. One for immediate testing and the other is stored (frozen) in case additional testing is required.

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