The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 mandated the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations to combat prohibited drug use and alcohol misuse in the transportation industry. For that portion of the transportation industry having to do with the provision of and service to the public of “mass transportation,” the FTA is the agency delegated with the authority and responsibility for issuing these implementing rules. These rules are encompassed in 49 CFR Part 655, Prevention of Alcohol Misuse and Prohibited Drug Use in Transit Operations.
Alcohol – DOT alcohol tests can use either saliva or breath (with PAS devices) but confirmation tests must use EBT devices.
Drugs – As specified in DOT regulations 49 CFR part 40 with the Cut Off levels listed in DOT regulations 49 CFR part 40; the following substances will be tested for:
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The DOT defines Pre-employment testing as prior to the first time any employee performs safety-sensitive functions for any employer (including a single owner operator). Part 40 states that the driver/safety-sensitive employee shall undergo testing for controlled substances as a condition of employment.
Furthermore, no employer shall allow a driver, who the employer intends to hire or use, to perform safety-sensitive functions unless the employer has received a controlled substances test result from the MRO or C/TPA indicating a verified negative test result for that driver/employee.
A SAP (Substance Abuse Professional) is required when any safety sensitive employee violates any DOT drug and alcohol regulations. Once the violation has occurred, the employee must not perform any DOT safety-sensitive duties for any employer until and unless he/she completes the SAP evaluation, referral, and education/treatment process set forth in this subpart and in applicable DOT agency regulations.
Employers wishing to permit the employee to return to the performance of safety-sensitive functions, you must ensure that the employee takes a return-to-duty test. This test cannot occur until after the SAP has determined that the employee has successfully complied with prescribed education and/or treatment. The employee must have a negative drug test result and/or an alcohol test with an alcohol concentration of less than 0.02 before resuming performance of safety-sensitive duties.
A SAP or MRO must not make a “fitness for duty” determination as part of this re-evaluation unless required to do so under an applicable DOT agency regulation. It is the employer’s responsibility to decide whether to put the employee back to work in a safety-sensitive position.
Follow-up testing is required for drivers who:
Follow up testing is prescribed by the substance abuse professional (SAP) for a minimum of 6 directly observed tests in 12 months, but can be extended an additional four years.
Yes, the following examples are allowed by the DOT as exceptions to the pre-employment drug testing requirement:
An employer is not required to administer a controlled substances pre-employment test required by this section if:
If an employer chooses to exercise the above referenced exception must contact the controlled substances testing program(s) in which the driver participates or participated and shall obtain and retain from the testing program(s) the following information:
Employers may choose but are not required to, conduct pre-employment alcohol testing under this part. However, if an employer chooses to conduct pre-employment alcohol testing, it must comply with the following requirements:
For information regarding the effects of drug abuse – Click Here
For information on a drug free work place – Click Here
For information on substance abuse programs – Click Here
For information on DOT Drug / Alcohol Testing requirements – Click Here