DOT Drug & Alcohol Supervisor Training Guidance Flow Chart
Do you have a CDL and operate an interstate or/and intrastate business on public roads?
- If yes, are you in a DOT Drug and Alcohol Program?
- If no then this chart does not pertain to you.
Are you in a DOT Drug and Alcohol Program?
- If yes, are you an owner-operator?
- If no, owner-operators and motor carriers that have only one CDL driver must join a consortium. If the motor carrier has more than one driver they may join a consortium, but they must get their drivers in a DOT Drug and Alcohol Program. To learn more click here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/drug-alcohol-testing/what-are-consortiumthird-party-administrators
Are you an owner-operator?
- If yes, if you are an owner-operator and you have already enrolled in a DOT Drug and Alcohol Program then you do not need the DOT Supervisor Training.
- If no, are you a supervisor?
Are you a supervisor?
- If yes, have you ever taken the DOT Supervisor Training at your current job?
- If no, if you are not a supervisor, then you do not need the DOT Supervisor Training.
Have you ever taken the DOT Supervisor Training at your current job?
- If yes, you are not required to take the DOT Supervisor Training. However, if the trained supervisor leaves the company then the new supervisor must get the required DOT Supervisor Training.
- If no, you must take the DOT Supervisor Training. Go here for more information: https://transitsafety.fta.dot.gov/DrugAndAlcohol/Tools/ReasonableSuspicion.aspx
Types of Substance Testing Services available at Alamo City Health & Safety:
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Make an Appointment at Alamo City Health & Safety for your next drug or alcohol test by calling (210) 366-4357.
SUMMARY of What You Need to Know:
- 49 CFR 382.603 is the applicable regulation requiring supervisors of commercial motor vehicle drivers who operate vehicles that require a commercial driver license to take 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of alcohol abuse and another 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of controlled substances use (120 minutes in total). The purpose of this training is to teach supervisors to identify circumstances and indicators that may create reasonable suspicion that a driver is using or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, supporting referral of an employee for testing.
- If you operate vehicles that require a CDL on the public roads and you have more than one employee in the company, you are required to get DOT Supervisor Training. To verify if you are subject to the drug and alcohol regulations, please visit http://www.dot.gov/odapc/am-i-covered
- Owner-operators are not subject to DOT supervisor training. However, you are still required to register with a consortium for DOT drug and alcohol testing.
- Employers need to ensure that the required content is made available to all persons designated to supervise drivers. Information can be found at /regulations/drug-alcohol-testing/what-are-my-employee-and-supervisor-training-responsibilities
- Below are a few suggestions on how you can get all of your employees designated to supervise CDL drivers trained.
- The Federal Transit Administration provides a reasonable suspicion training video at http://transit-safety.volpe.dot.gov/DrugAndAlcohol/Tools/ReasonableSuspicion.aspx
- For more information on drug and alcohol regulations /regulations/drug-alcohol-testing/overview-drug-and-alcohol-rules
DETAILS of What You Need to Know:
What to expect for drug and alcohol testing:
Alamo City Health & Safety makes it a top priority to make sure drug and alcohol testing procedures are convenient, affordable, and comfortable for our donor. We ensure the collection process is safe and protects your dignity & privacy. Visits for drug and alcohol testing services, depending on how many donors are in line in front of you, should take approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
When preparing for your employment drug testing visit, you should bring:
- Testing Authorization Form from employer or DER (Designated Employer Representative) requesting the required laboratory testing
- A photo ID (i.e. driver’s license or employee identification)
- Credit card, debit card, or health spending account card (if not covered by employer)
To schedule a DOT or NON-DOT drug test or breath alcohol test call us at (210) 366-4357. Give us a call to schedule an appointment with Arnoldo Daniel Gutierrez, certified medical examiner with FMCSA to review your consortium program and fees (210) 366-4357. Our goal is to save you time and money.
Who is subject to DOT testing?
Anyone designated in DOT regulations as a safety-sensitive employee is subject to DOT drug & alcohol testing. What follows is an overview of what jobs are defined as safety-sensitive functions subject to testing.
Persons that perform safety-sensitive functions, directly or by contract (including subcontract at any tier), for a part 119 certificate holder authorized to conduct part 121 or 135 operations; air traffic control facilities not operated by the FAA or under contract to the U.S. military; and all operators as defined in 14 CFR Section 91.147. The safety-sensitive duties include flight crewmember, flight attendant, flight instructor, air traffic controller, aircraft dispatcher, aircraft maintenance or preventative maintenance, ground security coordinator, aviation screeners and operations control specialist. See FAA regulations at 14 CFR Part 120.
Commercial Motor Carriers
Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders who operate Commercial Motor Vehicles, 26,001 lbs. gvwr. or greater, or operate a vehicle that carries 16 passengers or more including the driver, or required to display a DOT placard in the transportation of hazardous material.1 See FMCSA regulation at 49 CFR Part 382.
Crewmembers operating a commercial vessel. See USCG regulations at 46 CFR Parts 4 & 16.
An employee who performs an operation, maintenance, or emergency-response function on a PHMSA regulated pipeline or liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility. See PHMSA regulations at 49 CFR Part 199.
Persons who perform duties subject to the Hours of Service laws; such as, locomotive engineers, trainmen, conductors, switchmen, locomotive hostlers/ helpers, utility employees, signalmen, operators and train dispatchers. In addition, a person who performs a maintenance-of-way/roadway worker function (as defined in 49 CFR Part 214) who are employees or contractors of a railroad, have a potential to foul the track, and perform a regulated function such as inspection, construction, maintenance or repair of railroad track, bridges, roadway, signal and communication systems, electric traction systems, roadway facilities or roadway maintenance machinery on or near track, as well, flagman and watchmen/lookouts. See FRA Regulations at 49 CFR Part 219.
Operators of revenue service vehicles when not in service, Operators of nonrevenue service vehicles when required to be operated by a holder of a commercial drivers’ license, controlling dispatch or movement of revenue service vehicle, mechanics maintain a revenue service vehicle or equipment used in revenue service, and Fire armed security. See FTA regulations at 49 CFR Part 655.
Links to these regulations can be found on-line at www.transportation.gov/odapc.
What information must employers provide when I first begin performing DOT safety-sensitive functions?
Depending on the DOT agency over-seeing your industry, your employer may be required to provide you with educational materials and a company policy that explain the requirements of DOT’s drug & alcohol testing regulations and the procedures to help you comply. If you have not received this information, be sure to ask your employer about it.
What conduct is prohibited by the regulations?
As a safety-sensitive employee…
- You must not use or possess alcohol or any illicit drug while assigned to perform safety-sensitive functions or actually performing safety-
- Are under the influence or impaired by alcohol;
- Have a blood alcohol concentration .04 or greater; (with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 to .039, some regulations do not permit you to continue working until your next regularly scheduled duty period);
- Have used any illicit drug. You must not report for service, or remain on duty if you…
- You must not use alcohol within four hours (8 hours for flight crew members and flight attendants) of reporting for service or after receiving notice to report.
- You must not report for duty or remain on duty when using any controlled substance unless used pursuant to the instructions of an authorized medical practitioner.
- You must not refuse to submit to any test for alcohol or controlled substances.
- You must not refuse to submit to any test by adulterating or substituting your specimen.
- Keep these in mind when preparing to report to work.
What drugs does DOT test for?
DOT drug tests are conducted only using urine specimens. The urine specimens are analyzed for the following drugs/metabolites:
- Marijuana metabolites
- Cocaine metabolites
- Amphetamines including methamphetamine, MDMA
- Opioids - codeine, heroin (6-AM), morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
To learn more about the effects of these and other drugs visit the following sites:
Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheet. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) https://www.nhtsa.gov/
Driving While You Are Taking Medications. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) https://www.nhtsa.gov/
Drugs of Abuse. National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse
Drug Facts. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/finder/t/160/drugfacts
Drug Fact Sheets. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) https://www.dea.gov/factsheets
To learn about where to dispose of unused medication go to: https://takebackday.dea.gov
Can I use prescribed medications & over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and perform safety-sensitive functions?
Prescription medicine and OTC drugs may be allowed.4 However, you must meet the following minimum standards: The medicine is prescribed to you by a licensed physician, such as your personal doctor. The treating/prescribing physician has made a good faith judgment that the use of the substance at the prescribed or authorized dosage level is consistent with the safe performance of your duties.
Best Practice: To assist your doctor in prescribing the best possible treatment, consider providing your physician with a detailed description of your job. A title alone may not be sufficient. Many employers give employees a written, detailed description of their job functions to provide their doctors at the time of the exam.
Remember: Some agencies have regulations prohibiting use of specific prescription drugs, e.g. methadone, etc…. If you are using prescription or over-the-counter medication, check first with a physician, but do not forget to consult your industry-specific regulations before deciding to perform safety-sensitive tasks. Also be sure to refer to your company’s policy regarding prescription drugs.
When will I be tested?
Safety-sensitive employees are subject to drug or alcohol testing in the following situations:
- Reasonable Suspicion/Cause.
As a new hire, you are required to submit to a drug test. Employers may, but are not required to, conduct alcohol testing.6 Only after your employer receives a negative drug test result (and negative alcohol test result - if administered) may you begin performing safety-sensitive functions. This also applies if you are a current employee transferring from a non-safety-sensitive function into a safety-sensitive position (even if it is the same employer).
You are required to submit to any test (whether drug, alcohol or both) that a supervisor requests based on reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion means that one or more trained supervisors reasonably believes or suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They cannot require testing based on a hunch or guess alone; their suspicion must be based on observations concerning your appearance, behavior, speech and smell that are usually associated with drug or alcohol use.
You are subject to unannounced random drug & alcohol testing. Alcohol testing is administered just prior to, during or just after performing safety-sensitive functions. Depending on the industry specific regulations, you may only be subject to random drug testing. No manager, supervisor, official or agent may select you for testing just because they want to. Under DOT regulations, employers must use a truly random selection process. Each employee must have an equal chance to be selected and tested. Just prior to the testing event, you will be notified of your selection and provided enough time to stop performing your safety sensitive function and report to the testing location. Failure to show for a test or interfering with the testing process can be considered a refusal.
If you are involved in an event (accident, crash, etc.) meeting certain criteria of the DOT agency, a post-accident test will be required. You will then have to take a drug test and an alcohol test.8 You are required to remain available for this testing and are not permitted to refuse testing.
Remember: Safety-sensitive employees are obligated by law to submit to and cooperate in drug & alcohol testing mandated by DOT regulations.
Return to Duty
If you have violated the prohibited drug & alcohol rules, you are required to take a drug and/or alcohol test before returning to safety-sensitive functions for any DOT regulated employer. You are subject to unannounced follow-up testing at least 6 times in the first 12 months following your return to active safety-sensitive service. Return-to-duty tests must be conducted under direct observation.
The amount of follow-up testing you receive is determined by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and may continue for up to 5 years. This means the SAP will determine how many times you will be tested (at least 6 times in the first year), for how long, and for what substance (i.e. drugs, alcohol, or both). Your employer is responsible for ensuring that follow-up testing is conducted and completed. Follow-up testing is in addition to all other DOT required testing. All follow-up tests will be observed.
How is a urine drug test administered?
Regardless of the DOT agency requiring the drug test, the drug testing process always consists of three components:
1) The Collection. (49 CFR Part 40, Subparts C, D, E)
2) Testing at the Laboratory. (49 CFR Part 40, Subpart F)
3) Review by the Medical Review Officer. (49 CFR Part 40, Subpart G)
What follows is a summary of the procedures for each step. For a more detailed account, please visit 49 CFR Part 40, which can be found in its entirety at www.transportation.gov/odapc.
During the collection process, a urine specimen collector will:
- Verify your identity using a current valid photo ID, such as driver’s license, passport, employer issued picture ID, etc.
- Create a secure collection site by: - Restricting access to the site to only those being tested. - Securing all water sources and placing blue dye in any standing water. - Removing or securing all cleaning products/fluids at the collection site.
- Afford you privacy to provide a urine specimen. - Exceptions to the rule generally surround issues of attempted adulteration or substitution of a specimen or any situation where general questions of validity arise, like an unusual temperature.
- Ask you to remove any unnecessary garments and empty your pockets (you may retain your wallet).
- Instruct you to wash and dry your hands.
- Give you the Employee Copy (Copy # 5) of the CCF and may suggest you list any prescription and over-the-counter medications you may be taking on the back of your copy of the CCF (this may serve as a reminder for you in the event the MRO calls you to discuss your test results).
- Complete necessary documentation on the “Test Facility Copy” (Copy #1) of the CCF to demonstrate the chain of custody (i.e. handling) of the specimen.
- Ask you to provide your name, date of birth, and daytime and evening phone numbers on the Medical Review Officer Copy (Copy #2) of the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF). - This is so the Medical Review Officer (MRO) can contact you directly if there are any questions about your test.
- Neither you nor the collector should let the specimen out of your sight until it has been poured into two separate bottles and sealed.
- In your presence, pour the urine into two separate bottles (A or primary and B or split), seal them with tamper-evident tape, and then ask you to sign the seals after they have been placed on the bottles.
- Check the temperature and color of the urine.
- Request you to provide a specimen (a minimum of 45 mL) of your urine into a collection container.
- Select or have you select a sealed collection kit and open it in your presence.
- Package and ship both sealed bottles and completed CCF to a U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) certified testing laboratory as quickly as possible.
- If you are unable to provide 45 mL of urine on the first attempt, the time will be noted, and you will be:
- Required to remain in the testing area under the supervision of the collection site personnel, their supervisor, or a representative from your company,
- Leaving the testing area without authorization may be considered a refusal to test
- Urged to drink up to 40 oz. of fluid, distributed reasonably over a period of up to three hours,
- Asked to provide a new specimen (into a new collection container). If you do not provide a sufficient specimen within three hours, you must obtain a medical evaluation within five days to determine if there is an acceptable medical reason for not being able to provide a specimen. If it is determined that there is no legitimate physiological or pre-existing psychological reason for not providing a urine specimen, it will be considered a refusal to test.
How do you know if you are taking a federal or a private company drug test?
All DOT drug tests are completed using the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form. Those words appear at the top of each form.
Testing at the Laboratory
At the laboratory, the staff will:
- Determine if flaws exist. If flaws exist, the specimen is rejected for testing.
- Open only the A bottle and conduct a screening test. Specimens that screen positive will be analyzed again using a completely different testing methodology.
- If the specimen tests negative in either test, the result will be reported as a negative.
- Only if the specimen tests positive under both methods will the specimen be reported to the medical review officer as a positive test.
- Report the findings of the analysis of the A bottle to the Medical Review Officer (MRO).
- Store the A and B bottles for any reported positive, adulterated, or substituted result for at least 12 months.
The Lab will conduct specimen validity tests (SVTs) to determine if the specimen was adulterated or substituted. Tests found to be adulterated or substituted are also reported to the MRO and may be considered a refusal to test.
Review by the Medical Review Officer (MRO)
Upon receipt of the test result from the laboratory, the MRO will:
- Review paperwork for accuracy.
- Report a negative result to the Designated Employer Representative (DER).
- If the result is positive, conduct an interview with you to determine if there is a legitimate medical reason for the result. If a legitimate medical reason is established, the MRO will report the result to the DER as negative. If not, the MRO will report the result to the DER as positive.
- If the result is an adulterated or substituted test, conduct an interview with you to determine if there is a legitimate medical reason for the result. If a legitimate medical reason is established, the MRO will report the result to the DER as cancelled. If not, the MRO will report the result to the DER as a refusal.
- Report a non-negative test result to the DER if:
- You refused to discuss the results with the MRO;
- You did not provide the MRO with acceptable medical documentation to explain the non-negative test result.
- Inform you that you have 72 hours from the time of the verified result to request to have your B “split” bottle sent to another certified lab for analysis for the same substance or condition that was found in the A “primary” bottle.
If I disclose my prescribed medication use/medical information to the MRO during my interview, will the MRO report that information to a third party?
The DOT’s regulation requires the MRO to report your medication use/medical information to a third party (e.g. your employer, health care provider responsible for your medical qualifications, etc.), if the MRO determines in his/her reasonable medical judgement that you may be medically unqualified according to DOT Agency regulations, or if your continued performance is likely to pose a significant safety risk. The MRO may report this information even if the MRO verifies your drug test result as ‘negative’. Prior to the MRO reporting your information to a third party you will have up to five days to have your prescribing physician contact the MRO. You are responsible for facilitating the contact between the MRO and your prescribing physician. Your prescribing physician should be willing to state to the MRO that you can safely perform your safety-sensitive functions while taking the medication(s), or consider changing your medication to one that does not make you medically unqualified or does not pose a significant safety risk.
What are Medical Review Officers (MROs)?
Under DOT regulations, MROs are licensed physicians with knowledge and clinical experience in substance abuse disorders. They must also complete qualification training courses and fulfill obligations for continuing education courses. They serve as independent, impartial gatekeepers to the accuracy and integrity of the DOT drug testing program. All laboratory results are sent to an MRO for verification before a company is informed of the result. As a safeguard to quality and accuracy, the MRO reviews each test and rules out any other legitimate medical explanation before verifying the results as positive, adulterated or substituted.
How is an alcohol test administered?
The DOT performs alcohol testing in a manner to ensure the validity of the testing as well as provide confidentiality of the employee’s testing information.
At the start of the test, a Screening Test Technician (STT) or a Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT), using only a DOT-approved device, will:
- Establish a private testing area to prevent unauthorized people from hearing or seeing your test result.
- Require you to sign Step #2 of the Alcohol Testing Form (ATF).
- Perform a screening test and show you the test result. If the screening test result is an alcohol concentration of less than 0.02, no further testing is authorized, and there is no DOT action to be taken. The technician will document the result on the ATF, provide you a copy and provide your employer a copy.
If the screening test result is 0.02 or greater, you will be required to take a confirmation test, which can only be administered by BAT using an Evidential Breath Testing (EBT) device. The BAT will:
Wait at least 15 minutes, but not more than 30 minutes, before conducting the confirmation test. During that time, you are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, belch, put anything in your mouth or leave the testing area.
Remember: Leaving the testing area without authorization may be considered a refusal to test.
Perform an “air blank” (which must read 0.00) on the EBT device to ensure that there is no residual alcohol in the EBT or in the air around it.
Perform a confirmation test using a new mouthpiece.
Display the test result to you on the EBT and on the printout from the EBT.
Document the confirmation test result on the ATF, provide you a copy and provide your employer a copy.
Report any result of 0.02 or greater immediately to the employer.
If after several attempts you are unable to provide an adequate amount of breath, the testing will be stopped. You will be instructed to take a medical evaluation to determine if there is an acceptable medical reason for not providing a sample. If it is determined that there is no legitimate physiological or psychological reason, the test will be treated as a refusal to test. Confirmation test results are the final outcome of the test.
Less than 0.02
No action required under 49 CFR Part 40.
0.02 – 0.039
Varies among DOT agencies. For example, FMCSA requires that you not resume safety-sensitive functions for 24 hours [382.505], while the FRA requires 8 hours [219.101(a)(4)]. The FTA & PHMSA require only that you test below 0.02 or cannot work until the next scheduled duty period but not less than 8 hours from the time of the test [655.35 & 199.237 respectively]. And, the FAA requires only that you test below 0.02, if the employer wants to put you back to work within 8 hours [14 CFR Part 120, Subpart F, 120.217(g)]. Also, be sure to check other agency specific regulations for their restrictions.
0.04 or greater
Immediate removal from safety-sensitive functions. You may not resume safety-sensitive functions until you successfully complete the return-to-duty process.
Should I refuse a test if I believe I was unfairly selected for testing?
Rule of Thumb: Comply then make a timely complaint.
If you are instructed to submit to a DOT drug or alcohol test and you don’t agree with the reason or rationale for the test, take the test anyway. Don’t interfere with the testing process or refuse the test.
After the test, express your concerns to your employer through a letter to your company’s dispute resolution office, by following an agreed upon labor grievance or other company procedures. You can also express your concerns to the appropriate DOT agency drug & alcohol program office. (See contact numbers listed in the Appendix.) Whomever you decide to contact, please contact them as soon as possible after the test.
What is considered a refusal to test?
DOT regulations prohibit you from refusing a test. The following are some examples of conduct that the regulations define as refusing a test (See 49 CFR Part 40 Subpart I & Subpart N):
- Failure to appear for any test after being directed to do so by your employer.
- Failure to remain at the testing site until the testing process is complete.
- Failure to provide a urine sample for any test required by federal regulations.
- Failure to permit the observation or monitoring of you providing a urine sample (Please note tests conducted under direct observation or monitoring occur in limited situations. The majority of specimens are provided in private).
- Failure to provide a sufficient amount of urine when directed, and it has been determined, through a required medical evaluation, that there was not adequate medical explanation for the failure.
- Failure to take a second test when directed to do so.
- Failure to undergo a medical evaluation as part of “shy bladder” procedures.
- Providing a specimen that is verified as adulterated or substituted.
- Failure to cooperate with any part of the testing process (e.g., refuse to empty pockets when directed by the collector, behave in a confrontational way that disrupts the collection process, fail to wash hands after being directed to do so by the collector).
- Failure to follow the observer’s instructions [during a direct observation collection] to raise your clothing above the waist, lower clothing and underpants, and to turn around to permit the observer to determine if you have any type of prosthetic or other device that could be used to interfere with the collection process.
- Possess or wear a prosthetic or other device that could be used to interfere with the collection process.
- Admit to the collector or MRO that you adulterated or substituted the specimen.
- Failure to appear for any test after being directed to do so by your employer.
- Failure to remain at the testing site until the testing process is complete.
- Failure to sign Step #2 of the ATF
- Failure to provide a breath sample for any test required by federal regulations.
- Failure to provide a sufficient breath sample when directed, and it has been determined, through a required medical evaluation, that there was not adequate medical explanation for the failure.
- Failure to undergo a medical evaluation as part of “shy lung” procedures.
- Failure to cooperate with any part of the testing process.
What happens if I test positive, refuse a test, or violate an agency-specific drug & alcohol rule?
If you test positive, refuse a test, or violate DOT drug & alcohol rules:
- A supervisor or company official will immediately remove you from DOT-regulated safety-sensitive functions.
- You will not be permitted to return to performing DOT regulated safety-sensitive duties until you have: - Undergone an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP);
- Successfully completed any education, counseling or treatment prescribed by the SAP prior to returning to service; and
- Provided a negative test result for drugs and/or a test result of less than 0.02 for alcohol. (Return to duty testing)
- Upon return to a safety-sensitive job, you will be subject to unannounced testing for drugs and/or alcohol no less than 6 times during the first 12 months of active service with the possibility of unannounced testing for up to 60 months (as prescribed by the SAP). These tests (including the return-to-duty test) will be directly observed.
What are Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs)?
- Under DOT regulations, SAPs are Substance Abuse Professionals. They play a critical role in the work place testing program by professionally evaluating employees who have violated DOT drug & alcohol rules. SAPs recommend appropriate education, treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare. They are the gate-keepers to the re-entry program by determining when a safety-sensitive employee can be returned to duty.
- SAPs are required to have a certain background and credentials, which include clinical experience in diagnosis and treatment of substance abuse-related disorders. They must also complete qualification training and fulfill obligations for continuing education courses. While SAPs do make recommendations to the employer about an employee’s readiness to perform safety-sensitive duties, SAPs are neither an advocate for the employee or the employer, and they make return-to-duty recommendations according to their professional and ethical standards as well as DOT’s regulations.
Even if a SAP believes that you are ready to return to work, an employer is under no obligation to return you to work. Under the regulations, hiring and reinstatement decisions are left to the employer. Also, under FAA regulations, SAPs cannot return a pilot to duty without the prior approval of the FAA’s Federal Air Surgeon
How do I find a SAP?
If you violate a DOT drug or alcohol rule, your employer is required to provide you with a list of SAPs’ names, addresses, and phone numbers that are available to you and acceptable to them.10 This is true even if your employer terminates your employment.
Will I lose my job if I violate drug & alcohol regulations?
DOT regulations do not address employment actions such as hiring, firing or granting leaves of absence. All employment decisions are the responsibility of the employers. Under Federal regulations, the main requirement for employers is to immediately remove employees from performing DOT safety-sensitive jobs. Be aware that a positive or refused DOT drug or alcohol test may trigger additional consequences based on company policy or employment agreement. While you may not lose your job, you may lose your certification or license to perform that job. Be sure to check industry specific regulations. For example, someone operating a commercial motor vehicle may not lose their state-issued CDL, but they will lose their ability to perform any DOT regulated safety-sensitive tasks.
Will my results be confidential?
Your test results are confidential. An employer or service agent (e.g. testing laboratory, MRO or SAP) is not permitted to disclose your test results to outside parties without your written consent. But, your test information may be released (without your consent) in certain situations, such as: legal proceedings, grievances, or administrative proceedings brought by you or on your behalf, which resulted from a positive or refusal. When the information is released, the employer must notify you in writing of any information they released.
Will the results follow me to different employers?
Yes, your drug & alcohol testing history will follow you to your new employer, if that employer is regulated by a DOT agency. Employers are required by law to provide records of your drug & alcohol testing history to your new employer. This is to ensure that you have completed the return-to-duty process and are being tested according to your follow-up testing plan.
What should I do if I have a drug or alcohol abuse problem?
Seek help. Jobs performed by safety-sensitive transportation employees keep America’s people and economy moving. Your work is a vital part of everyday life. Yet, by abusing drugs or alcohol, you risk your own life, the lives of your co-workers and the lives of the public.
Most every community in the country has resources available to confidentially assist you through the evaluation and treatment of your problem. If you would like to find a treatment facility close to you, check with your local yellow pages, local health department or visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services treatment facility locator at http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/. This site provides contact information for substance abuse treatment programs by state, city and U.S. Territory.
Also, many work-place programs are in place to assist employees and family members with substance abuse, mental health and other problems that affect their job performance. While they may vary by industry, here is an overview of programs that may be available to you:
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
While not required by DOT agency regulations, EAPs may be available to employees as a matter of company policy. EAPs are generally provided by employers or unions. EAP programs vary considerably in design and scope. Some focus only on substance abuse problems; others undertake a broad brush approach to a range of employee and family problems. Some include prevention, health and wellness activities. Some are linked to the employee health benefit structures. These programs offer nearly full privacy and confidentiality, unless someone’s life is in danger. Do you know what programs are available at your job? Be sure to ask your employer!
Voluntary Referral Programs
Often sponsored by employers or unions, referral programs provide an opportunity to self-report to your employer a substance abuse problem before you violate testing rules. This gives you an opportunity for evaluation and treatment, while at times guaranteeing your job. Be sure to check your company to see if there is a voluntary referral program.
Remember: Self-reporting just after being notified of a test does not release you from your responsibility of taking the test, and it also does not qualify as a voluntary referral.
Peer Reporting Programs Generally sponsored by employers or unions, you are encouraged or required to identify co-workers with substance abuse problems. The safety of everyone depends on it. Using peers to convince troubled friends
and co-workers with a problem is one of the strengths of the program, often guaranteeing the co-worker struggling with substance abuse issues the same benefits as if he had self-reported.
Education and Training Programs (required by all Agencies)
Topics may include the effects of drugs & alcohol use, company testing policies, DOT testing regulations and the consequences of a positive test. Materials may also contain information on how employees can get in touch with their Employee Assistance Programs and community service hot-lines.
In addition, supervisors sometimes receive additional training in the identification and documentation of signs and symptoms of employee’s drug and/or alcohol use that trigger a reasonable suspicion drug or alcohol test.
Did you know?
Did you know that 6 out of 10 people suffering from substance abuse problems also suffer from mental conditions like depression?11 Research has long documented that people suffering from depression try to self-medicate themselves through alcohol and other drugs. Typically, many of these individuals fail to remain clean and sober after rehabilitation because their underlying medical problem is not addressed and the cycle of self-medication begins again. Remember: If you have substance abuse issues, there is a 60% chance that you are also suffering from an underlying mental condition like depression.
Increase your chances of rehabilitation. Be sure to ask your doctor or other mental health professionals about depression as it relates to substance abuse issues.
But, I have more questions?
ODAPC is available to help answer anyone’s questions regarding DOT drug & alcohol testing regulations. Please contact us at 202-366-DRUG (3784) or visit our website at www.transportation.gov/odapc for frequently asked questions, official interpretations of the regulations and regulatory guidelines. If you have questions regarding DOT agency regulations on a specific industry, contact the agencies drug & alcohol abatement offices listed below:
Drug & Alcohol Program Manager
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Homeland Security