Help! Needing advice ASAP re: my prescriptions on DOT physical & medical card

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Ford_C700_Man, Apr 11, 2024.

  1. Ford_C700_Man

    Ford_C700_Man Bobtail Member

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    Hello everyone! I am new to this forum and a new CDL holder as well. I am in kind of a in a jam right now and I'm trying to figure out what to do. So I'm hoping someone could shed light on my issues ASAP. I went to CDL school last year and I got a DOT physical. My blood pressure was a little high and the examiner Dr gave me a one year card that expires towards the end of next month (May '24). I did not share any info about any prescriptions and none were listed on that medical card or long form.

    However, earlier this week, I went to an interview with a large mega-carrier (can't say who it is) for an OTR cross-country (long haul) job. After the interview, I decided that I didn't really like the company, or the job, and I ended up not taking their job offer. However, they gave me a DOT drug screen, which I passed, and a DOT physical with their DOT contracted examiner, that is now on hold or "incomplete" and it's pending on a note from my primary Dr re: a prescription for Ambien.

    I originally didn't really want to share the info to their DOT examiner re: my Ambien prescription. However, during the interview process, the company made me fill out a medical questionnaire, listing prescriptions. They said that their trucks get inspected inside and out regularly at inspection stations across the country because of all the illegal trafficking going on nowadays. (makes sense, no argument here!) I was told that officers legally can search an entire tractor-trailer CMV at ANY TIME, including your luggage, and all of your personal belongings without a warrant, probable cause, or even without 'reasonable suspicion.' Without the Ambien prescription listed on my medical card. it would be confiscated, the company fined, and then I wold get terminated. Not sure what to do, I caved, and I listed all of my prescriptions and their DOT examiner Dr had that list when I went in for a physical and asked for a Dr note for the Ambien. I didn't realize that this was going to end up opening up a can of worms and become a cluster ####. Now, my dilemma is that I have a DOT physical that is incomplete on my record until my primary Dr.sends a note to that Dr to clear it up, even though I did not take the job.

    What's even worse is that I have been applying to a local (home every day) job with a local trucking company since last year and now they FINALLY have an opening and I have an interview scheduled with them on Monday, April 15th .... IN JUST 4 DAYS!!! I desperately need a job ASAP and I really want to work for this local company. But, I'm not sure what to do and how to ramify this situation before it costs me this job. My questions are as follows:

    1) What would happen if I just left the last DOT physical as incomplete, as opposed to getting the Dr note?

    2) Is that going to screw me over as a new CDL holder?

    3) Can I just present my previous medical card w/o the Ambien prescription to the new prospective employer? Or is that previous DOT medical card no longer valid even though it doesn't expire for another 1.5 months?

    4) Assuming the new local company will also give me a DOT physical with their DOT examiner, what would happen if I don't list the Ambien on their forms? (If I stop taking it of course!) Is that going to raise a red flag because I listed it on a previous DOT exam? This brings me to the next question ...

    5) BTW, my CDL is for the state of CA. Does the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) or some other agency that DOT examiners and/or law enforcement have access to, keep a file or records of EVERY DOT physical and a history of all information on all of them, including prescriptions, on EVERY CDL holder?

    6) Or do they (the regulatory agencies) only keep them for a certain length of time, such as 5 years? Or just the most recent one on file?

    7) If the NEXT examiner asks me, could I just say "I stoppded taking Ambien and no longer have the prescription?"

    8) Would a law enforcement or DOT inspection agency have access to my previous physical that says I had an Ambien prescription, even though the most current one wouldn't list it? (thus making me a target for an "Ambien specific" drug screen)
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2024
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  3. goforce

    goforce Light Load Member

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    You never ever tell all.
     
  4. Grumppy

    Grumppy Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    I dont know if I can answer all of your questions but I can comment on some.

    First, if you have high blood pressure, its gonna show up like being pregnant. BP medication is not against DOT rules. However, if you have high BP, you will ALWAYS get a one year DOT physical.

    Go to your Dr or a walkin clinic, get checked out & get BP medication... whatever they say you need. Then when you go to get your next DOT physical, whether with or without a new job, you need to put that you have high BP & you take "X" meds for it. The Dr will give you a one year physical. Done.

    I know your worried because you don't know. But you're making too much out of this. You just need to do what you need to do. Get checked out, get BP meds & put it on a new DOT physical form & the Dr will give you a one year physical.
    If you do the right thing, it dont matter if the FBI has you old physical. Your new one is what matters.
     
  5. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    To be clear, you never got a new physical. You’ve been operating under the old physical. It’s still good as of right now. That’s your official physical on file with the State, until you pass another physical, AND self certify it with your State. So far you haven’t passed a new physical. It shouldn’t be on file anywhere. There’s no such category. If you failed a drug screen, you’d most likely have a problem. Do what you want. I suggest stop taking Ambien. Plenty other natural ways to relax and get sleep. Meditation is a good one. OTR driving should be sufficient in and of itself. Stay up long enough, you’ll sleep. Having to sometimes drive when tired is eventually going to happen. Probably more than anyone likes to admit. Last thing you need is Ambien. That stuff can be dangerous. If you have no choice, quit taking it. Renew Physical, Good for 2 more years. Only start taking it again if absolutely needed.
     
  6. austinmike

    austinmike Road Train Member

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    If you have cops going thru your luggage and personal stuff you have bigger problems than a undeclared script.
     
  7. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    You were taking Ambien long before you got your first DOT physical. Make sure, whoever, understands that.
    You're probably going to get stuck with a sleep apnea test, which will delay you another few months.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2024
  8. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Washington state does that and even counts pills in a prescription bottle to see if there's more pills than the label shows.
     
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  9. North Pole Nightmare

    North Pole Nightmare Heavy Load Member

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    I'm in Texas,might be different.I have 3 prescriptions,just blood thinner and for high chloresterol,the DOT Dr asked my Cardiologist about them,he sent a note back that they don't have an effect on driving,so they gave me a one year again.
    You can try otc melatonin or something similar to help sleep instead of prescription ambien.
     
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  10. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Yeah, I take melatonin, from Sam's Club, but never revealed it.
     
  11. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    The physical wasn’t completed. He didn’t take the job. How’s anyone going to know? Shouldn’t be anything on file in the Physicians registration part. Even if he later gets searched and they find any prescription, as long as it’s prescribed it’s no problem. Hey Patrol is t going to contact the Dr. that performed his physical to check validity, or long form questions. This whole thing is blown way out of proportion by the OP. As far as Ambien is concerned, no one needs it. It has potential dangerous effects, reasons unknown. He could probably take some Benadryl prescription for allergies or sinus issues. Take one before bedtime only when needed. Where’s @Moose1958 ? He knows all rules and possible scenarios.
     
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