Land, Air and Sea, DOT Drug Testing USA - Local Drug Testing Centers Nationwide | Land, Air and Sea, DOT Drug Testing USA - Local Drug Testing Centers Nationwide | Land, Air and Sea, DOT Drug Testing USA - Local Drug Testing Centers Nationwide

United States Coast Guard (USCG)

Employers regulated by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) are required under Homeland Security regulations to maintain a drug and alcohol testing program. Formerly under DOT, the Coast Guard employers follow DOT 49 CFR Part 40, they still do follow these DOT regulations under a memorandum of agreement between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation. Those applying for a Captains license or other merchant mariner credential need initial drug test and periodic drug testing every two years.

Who Falls Under USCG Drug Testing Regulations?

  • Crew members operating a commercial vessel
  • A person who is on board a vessel acting under the authority of a license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner’s document. Also, a person engaged or employed on board a U.S. owned vessel and such vessel is required to engage, employ or be operated by a person holding a license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner’s document.

    When is a USCG Drug Test Performed?

    What Substances are Tested?

    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:

    1. Marijuana metabolites
    2. Cocaine metabolites
    3. Phencyclidine
    4. Opioids** – codeine, heroin, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone & hydromorphone
    5. Amphetamines -amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA & MDA

    **Some common names for the new semi-synthetic opioids include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, and Exalgo®.

    What is Pre-Employment Testing?

    USCG Regulations 46 CFR Section 16.210 states that no mariner employer can engage with or employ an individual to serve as a crewmember unless they pass a DOT drug test.  Employers may also waive the pre-employment test requirement if the individual has:

    1. Taken and passed a DOT drug test within the previous 6 months and has had NO positive drug tests during the remainder of the 6-month period; or
    2. Has been subject to a random drug testing program as required by USCG 16.230 for at least 60 days of the previous 185 days and did no fail or refuse to participate in a DOT drug test.

    What is a violation of DOT Drug and Alcohol Regulations?

    • A verified positive DOT drug test result,
    • a DOT alcohol test with a result indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater,
    • a refusal to test (including by adulterating or substituting a urine specimen) or
    • any other violation of the prohibition on the use of alcohol or drugs under a DOT agency regulation constitutes a DOT drug and alcohol regulation violation.

    When is a SAP evaluation required?

    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.

    How does the return-to-duty process conclude?

    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 the 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.

    What is Follow-up Testing?

    Follow-up testing is required for mariners who:

    • tested positive,
    • refused, or
    • otherwise violated the prohibitions of 49 CFR Part 40
    • who have completed the return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional, and
    • have tested negative for a return-to-duty test.

    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.

    Is pre-employment alcohol testing allowed?

    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:

    1. It must conduct a pre-employment alcohol test before the first performance of safety-sensitive functions by every covered employee (whether a new employee or someone who has transferred to a position involving the performance of safety-sensitive functions).
    2. It must treat all safety-sensitive employees performing safety-sensitive functions the same for the purpose of pre-employment alcohol testing (i.e., it must not test some covered employees and not others).
    3. It must conduct the pre-employment tests after making a contingent offer of employment or transfer, subject to the employee passing the pre-employment alcohol test.
    4. It must conduct all pre-employment alcohol tests using the alcohol testing procedures of 49 CFR part 40 of this title.
    5. It must not allow a covered employee to begin performing safety-sensitive functions unless the result of the employee’s test indicates an alcohol concentration of less than 0.04.

    Training Requirements

    Employee Training-  A USCG-covered employer must provide education with the display and distribution of informational materials and a community service hotline number. Each employer must ensure the distribution of the employer policy regarding the use of drugs and alcohol and training must include the effects of drugs and alcohol on a person's health, safety, and work environment; and manifestations and behavioral cues that may indicate drug and alcohol use and abuse. 

    Supervisor Training-One hour of training is required on the effects of drugs and alcohol on personal health, safety, and work environment; and manifestations and behavioral cues that may indicate drug and alcohol use and abuse.

      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

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