An in-depth look at the Medical Review Office Process. During this video, you will learn what happens after a drug test is completed at the lab and sent to the MRO.
The following outlines the annual minimum drug and alcohol random testing rates established within DOT Agencies and the USCG for 2020.
|DOT Agency||2020 Random Drug Testing Rate||2020 Random Alcohol Testing Rate|
|Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)||50%||10%|
|Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)||25%||10%|
|Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)||25% – Covered Service||10% – Covered Service|
|50% – Maintenance of Way||25% – Maintenance of Way|
|Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)||50%||N/A|
|Federal Transit Administration (FTA)||50%||10%|
|United States Coast Guard (USCG)||50%||N/A|
Note: Employers (and C/TPAs) subject to more than one DOT agency drug and alcohol testing rule may continue to combine covered employees into a single random selection pool.
USCG covered employees may be combined with DOT covered employees in drug testing pools even though the USCG is now part of the Department of Homeland Security.
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).
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
- Federal Transit Administration ( FTA)
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- United States Coast Guard (USCG)
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety ( PHMSA)
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.
Contact us today for more information or to get set up!
Have you ever received a drug test result that said dilute? Applicants and employees who know they are going to test positive may attempt to tamper with their sample to pass the test. The most common way of doing this is by diluting their urine, leading to a dilute drug test result.
Diluting urine means that the donor drinks a significant quantity of water before providing a specimen, and their body is overly hydrated. However, it is possible that a donor doesn’t do this with the intent of cheating the system and simply drinks a lot of water in general.
It is widely known that some donors try to dilute their urine because they consumed drugs and are trying to flush out their system. This practice will result in a dilute drug test result.
What can be done?
A dilute drug test result can still be used. If it is positive dilute, then it is positive and the employer should proceed accordingly. However, If it is negative, the employer does have a few options to help in making the best determination.
An employer can require that anyone who has a negative dilute drug test be retested. The employer can specify that the donor retest via another urine drug test or can choose another testing method that may be harder to cheat. Keep in mind that when testing a DOT donor, it may be necessary to retest that donor under a Non-DOT policy if choosing another testing method. This would mean that the test, if positive, would not report to the clearinghouse as DOT only allows for DOT urine samples. The employer can choose other options like a hair follicle or saliva drug test, which are both conducted under direct observation. Contact our office for help in developing a testing protocol for a dilute drug test.
Illicit drug users who test negative dilute often slip through the system and get hired more often than one would think. Sometimes, these users will get caught through random testing or reasonable suspicion testing. Don’t risk it! The safety of the workplace should come first! We are here to help provide the resources needed to promote safety in the workplace. Contact us for answers to any questions!
What is a DOT drug test?
In 1991, the U.S. Congress passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act when they recognized the need for a drug and alcohol-free transportation industry. This act requires that DOT regulated employers implement a drug and alcohol testing program for their safety-sensitive employees.
The DOT regulations and procedures are listed as 49 CFR Part 40. These rules are published by the Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance (ODAPC). The Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance publishes and provides authoritative interpretations of these rules. Each DOT agency and the U.S. Coast Guard write industry-specific regulations, spelling out who is subject to testing, when, and in what situation.
Who is required to get DOT drug & alcohol tests?
Anyone designated in the DOT regulations as a “safety-sensitive” employee is subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing. A safety-sensitive employee is someone who holds a job that can impact both their safety and the safety of the public.
These are some of the DOT regulations on who is subject to testing:
Aviation (FAA) Flight crews, flight attendants, flight instructors, air traffic controllers at facilities not operated by the FAA or under contract to the U.S. military, aircraft dispatchers, aircraft maintenance or preventative maintenance personnel, ground security coordinators and aviation screeners. Direct or contract employees of 14 CFR Part 121 or 135 certificate holders, Section 91.147 operators and air traffic control facilities not operated by the FAA or under contract to the US Military. See FAA regulations at 14 CFR Part 120.
Commercial Motor Carriers (FMCSA) 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 1 In some instances, states allow waivers from this qualification, such as operators of fire trucks and some farm equipment. Check with your state department of motor vehicles for more information. See FMCSA regulation at 49 CFR Part 382.
Maritime (USCG) An agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Crewmembers operating a commercial vessel. See USCG regulations at 46 CFR Parts 4 & 16.
Pipeline (PHMSA) Operations, maintenance and emergency response. See PHMSA regulations at 49 CFR Part 199.
Railroad (FRA) Hours of Service Act personnel, engine & train, signal service or train dispatchers. See FRA regulations at 49 CFR Part 219.
Transit (FTA) Vehicle operators, controllers, mechanics and armed security. See FTA regulations at 49 CFR Part 655.
What do DOT drug tests test for?
All DOT drug tests test for the following:
- Marijuana Metabolites (THC)
- Cocaine Metabolites
(including Methamphetamines, MDMA, MDA)
(Including Codeine, Morphine, 6-AM (heroin), Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
*Specimens collected for testing are:
Alcohol: Breath & Saliva
* The FRA requires blood specimens as part of their Post-Accident testing.
When are safety-sensitive employees required to get a DOT drug test?
DOT drug tests are required in the following situations:
- Pre-Employment: prior to starting your job responsibilities.
- Reasonable Suspicion: when a trained supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that changes in appearance, behavior, or Job performance may indicate drug or alcohol use.
- Return-To-Duty: after a violation of drug and alcohol testing rules. Prior to returning to any DOT-regulated work function.
- Follow up: takes place after a return-to-duty test. A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) will determine how many tests you will have and when, with a minimum of 6 tests within the first 12 months.
- Post-Accident: If you are involved in an event (accident, crash, etc.) meeting specific criteria of the DOT agency. Contact us to determine if the accident meets the requirements for a DOT drug test.
What happens if I fail my DOT drug test?
If you fail your DOT drug test, your employer will immediately remove you from performing any DOT safety-sensitive job. For more information check out our article on “My Driver Failed A Drug Test, What Now?”
Nationwide Testing Associations experts stay -up-to-date on DOT regulations and are here to assist you. If you’re interested in using Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., contact us today!
Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., has over 37 years of experience assisting companies in making informed decisions. Our nationwide solutions for drug and alcohol testing, compliance services, and background screening are industry-leading. We pride ourselves on our host of full turnkey programs. All of our programs are customized to exceed both our client’s expectations and state and federal guidelines. Our high standards and our emphasis on a customer-first program has set us apart from our industry.
Pre-employment testing is the most common type of drug testing and is a way for employers to make the best hiring decisions possible. When an applicant applies to a job, they may be subject to a pre-employment drug test after a conditional offer of employment has been made. To ensure that the applicant is suitable for the position, most companies conduct a pre-employment drug test. Studies show a correlation between employee drug abuse and Increased absenteeism, higher workplace accident rates, decreased productivity and increased turn over.
When implementing pre-employment drug testing or employment drug testing, it is important to consider your business. What is right for you? Urinalysis? Hair Testing? Oral Fluids? Blood? Each of these testing methods has a different set of benefits. Pre-employment testing is only part of a full turnkey program! It is recommended to pair pre-employment testing with a random selection testing plan, as employees can begin drug use after the initial pre-employment test has been passed.
Contact Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., to discuss which nationwide drug testing program would be best for you! We will work with you to enhance your workplace safety! Discover the difference today!