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.
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.
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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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:
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 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.
Follow-up testing is required for mariners 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.
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:
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