Each USDOT Agency, USCG, FMCSA, FRA, FTA, FAA, and PHMSA, has a specific set of rules and guidelines dictating random ratios, policy development, training, and educational requirements for employees and supervisors for that particular agency. Please refer to the website listed below for the DOT agency to whom your company must report. Or, contact your NTA, Inc representative for assistance.
49 CFR, Part 40 guidelines for BAT, STT, Drug Screen Collector, MRO Laboratory, and SAP functions are the same for most USDOT agencies. All DOT agencies test for the following drugs: Amphetamine (methamphetamine, MDMA, MDA) Cannabinoids, Cocaine, Opioids (codeine, heroin, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone) PCP (Phencyclidine) 6MAM (6 Acetylmorphine).
For this overview, “employee” is defined as an individual who performs safety-sensitive functions as outlined in the regulations of the DOT agency or agencies to which a company must report. USCG is now under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security; however, the testing program still operates under Part 40 guidelines.
I. What are the General Responsibilities of Employers Under These Regulations? (49CFR, Subpart B)
- As an employer, you are responsible for meeting all applicable requirements and procedures of this
- You are responsible for all actions of your officials, representatives, and agents (including service agents) in carrying out the requirements of the DOT agency
- All agreements and arrangements, written or unwritten, between and among employers and service agents concerning the implementation of DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements are deemed, as a matter of law, to require compliance with all applicable provisions of this part and DOT agency drug and alcohol testing Compliance with these provisions is a material term of all such agreements and arrangements.
II. Fines and Penalties
Violations of any part of 49CFR Part 40 and specific DOT agency regulations may result in significant fines and penalties. For a list of recent fines and penalties, contact your NTA representative.
III. Medical Review Officer
- 49CFR, 121 outlines who is qualified to act as an MRO, what fundamental knowledge is required of the MRO, Qualification Training, and Continuing Education.
- All DOT drug screens, negative and positive, must be verified by a qualified MRO.
Only laboratories certified by HHS under the National Laboratory Certification Program (NLCP) are allowed to conduct DOT urine Drug Screens per 49 CFR, Part 40. 81. Examples include: LabCorp, Quest, Med-Tox, and Abbott.
V. Required Forms for DOT Drug Testing
- All DOT required drug tests must be conducted on a Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control
- DOT will not recognize non-DOT drug screens for DOT drug testing
IMPORTANT: All DOT employers are required to use the revised Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form effective January 1, 2018.
- Types of Required Testing
- Pre-Employment: A drug test must be conducted on safety-sensitive employees defined by the DOT modality with results known before the performing safety-sensitive functions the first A Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form must be used. NOTE: DOT does not require a pre-employment breath alcohol test, only a drug test.
- Random: Drug testing is required at a ratio set by the DOT Agency under which the employer operates. It is normally either 25% or 50%, depending on the agency. Alcohol Testing, spread reasonably throughout the year, may be required at 10% or higher for some DOT agencies. Quarterly is most often used; however, some companies prefer monthly. Once the employee is notified that he/she has been selected, he/she must proceed to the collection site
- Post Accident: Drug test is required within 32 hours, alcohol test is required within 2-8 IMPORTANT: Each DOT agency outlines the situations in which a DOT drug/alcohol test is required. Please locate the regulatory reference that applies to the DOT agency your company is subject to. Contact NTA if you need assistance in locating the specific regulation.
- Reasonable Suspicion: Must be determined by a trained supervisor. An Observed Behavior Documentation form must be completed before requesting the test from the employee and placed in his/her file. The employee must be informed of the reasons for the testing request. The supervisor must accompany the employee to the collection
- Return to Duty: Must be performed in accordance with 49CFR Part 40, Subpart This test is performed before an employee may resume safety-sensitive functions after substance abuse treatment. Effective August 2009, all Return to Duty Tests must be directly observed.
- Follow Up: Must be performed in accordance with 49CFR Part 40, Subpart O. At least 6 unannounced follow up tests must be performed during the first 12 months an employee is back at work after substance abuse treatment Effective August 2009, all Follow-Up Tests must be directly observed.
VII. Additional Required Components for an Employer’s DOT Drug/Alcohol Testing Program
- A written policy that meets the requirements of each specific DOT agency must be in A copy of this policy must be distributed to all employees who perform safety-sensitive functions as defined by the DOT agency. A signed receipt of this policy must be on file for DOT review as well as the policy itself. NTA will provide clients with a DOT policy when the account is set up. Each employee must receive a copy of this policy, as well as sign and date the employee receipt of policy. Keep the signed and dated receipt of policy on file.
- The employer must provide educational materials on the DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing regulations to all This information must be given to each employee and a signed receipt must be kept on file for DOT review, in addition to at least one copy of the booklet. NTA provides clients with qualifying educational materials for employees.
- The employer must have on file the name, address, and contact information of a qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). DOT does not require that the employer keep an employee or pay for treatment after a positive That is the decision of the employer and should be outlined in the substance abuse policy. However, the regulations require that all employees be referred to a qualified substance abuse professional, even if terminated. The employer must document the referral.
- The employer must ensure that all drug screen collectors and alcohol technicians are The best way to do this is to request copies of certification from all collectors and alcohol technicians.
- Reasonable Suspicion Supervisor Training must be received by all supervisors of employees performing safety-sensitive functions. This is mandatory 2-hour training that must address signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse as well as documenting and handling reasonable suspicion testing NTA offers this training via regional seminars and on-site or written materials that can be purchased and used in- house.
What Substances Does DOT Test For?
DOT testing is conducted for both alcohol and drugs. The drugs that DOT tests look for include the following:
- Amphetamines (including methamphetamine)
- Opiates (including heroin, codeine, and morphine)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
According to numbers provided by the DOT, marijuana and amphetamines were the most commonly found substances as a result of DOT testing for commercial motor vehicle drivers in 2015. Overall, positive results remain low for commercial drivers. In 2015, just 1.85% of DOT test results were positive; however, that is still more than the DOT would like to see to ensure transportation safety across the country.
What Conduct is Prohibited by DOT Regulations?
The purpose of DOT drug testing requirements is to ensure that safety-sensitive employees do not use alcohol or illicit drugs while performing safety-sensitive functions. As part of that effort, some behavior is specifically prohibited. Safety-sensitive employees cannot report for duty or remain on duty under any of the circumstances detailed below.
- Under the influence: Employees with a blood alcohol concentration of .04 or greater are not allowed to perform their duties. Most employees cannot use alcohol within four hours of reporting for service. For flight attendants and crew members, that is extended to eight hours.
- Drug use: Employees may not report for duty or stay on duty if they have used any controlled substance, specifically illicit drugs. Some controlled substances may be allowed if they are being used under the direction of a medical provider.
- Refusing a test: Employees that refuse to submit to a drug or alcohol test will be dismissed from duties. It is also prohibited to interfere with the testing process or with a collected specimen.
DOT drug and alcohol testing is a federal requirement that helps ensure the safety of thousands of workers and individuals across the country. Understanding the requirements and the process helps both employers and employees remain in compliance and keep each other safe.
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