What are the Department of Transportation (DOT) Guidelines for drug and alcohol testing?
The Department of Transportation (DOT), in compliance with The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, requires drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees. Safety sensitive employees are required to submit to drug and alcohol testing to maintain their safety sensitive status under 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 40.
When are Safety Sensitive Employees tested for drugs and alcohol?
In accordance with 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 40, employers are required to test safety sensitive employees in the following cases:
- Reasonable Suspicion
What happens to a safety sensitive employee following a positive drug and alcohol test?
Safety sensitive employees who have had a positive alcohol test or drug test under the DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing guidelines are required to obtain a substance abuse evaluation prior to returning to safety sensitive duty. Employees who have been terminated from their job MUST obtain a SAP evaluation and complete the reccomendations prior to returning to work as a safety sensitive employee in the future. These evaluations must be completed by a qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)(CFR 40.291).
What happens during a DOT SAP Evaluation?
During a DOT SAP Evaluation, the evaluator must do the following:
- A face-to-face clinical assessment
- Provide referrals to education and/or treatment programs as appropriate
- A face-to-face follow-up evaluation
- Provide the employer and the employee with a written Initial Evaluation
- Provide the employer and the employee with a written follow-up evaluation
- Provide the employer with written follow-up testing reccomendations
- Provide the employer with recommendations for additional treatment as appropriate
Following the DOT SAP Evaluation, the evaluator does not make a recommendation about whether or not the individual is ready to return to work. That determination is made by the employer. It is the role of the SAP to determine whether the individual is in compliance with the SAP Evaluation recommendations.
Throughout the Substance Abuse Evaluation, the Substance Abuse Professional is not an advocate for either the individual or the employer. The SAP’s role is to protect public safety related to transportation employers and transportation employees in safety sensitive positions.