FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Accurate Drug Services, Inc. has compiled the most commonly asked questions regarding complaince and safety issues of Title 49. These answers will assist you and your company in understanding what are the requirements of Title 49.
As an employee or employer, how do I know if I am subject to DOT testing?
Generally, DOT regulations cover safety-sensitive transportation employers and employees. Each DOT agency (e.g. FRA, FMCSA, FTA, FAA, and PHMSA) and the USCG have specific drug and alcohol testing regulations that outline who is subject to their testing regulations.
How does 49 CFR Part 40 differ from the DOT Agency specific regulations?
49 CFR Part 40 (commonly referred to as “Part 40”) states:
How drug and alcohol testing is conducted, who is authorized to participate in the drug and alcohol testing program, and what employees must do before they may return-to-duty following a drug and/or alcohol violation.
The DOT Agency and the USCG specific regulations state:
The agency’s prohibitions on drug and alcohol use, who is subject to the regulations, what testing is authorized, when testing is authorized, and the consequences of non-compliance.
The DOT Agencies and the USCG incorporate Part 40 into their regulations and enforce compliance of all their respective regulations.
Will I lose my job if I test positive or refuse a test?
The DOT regulations do not address hiring, termination, or other employment actions. These decisions are solely the employer’s, which may be based on company policy and/or any collective bargaining agreements.
What happens to me when I test positive or refuse to test (i.e. adulterate, or substitute my urine specimen, or decline to be tested)?
When you test positive or refuse a test, you are not permitted to perform safety-sensitive duties for any DOT-regulated employer until you have seen a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and successfully completed the return-to-duty process, which includes a federal return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol test.
Working in a safety-sensitive position before successfully completing the return-to-duty process is a violation of the regulations.
How do I find a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) who is qualified to act in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol testing program?
As an employer, you must provide employees with a list of SAPs qualified under §40.281. The regulation [§40.287] requires the employer to provide the employee with a list of qualified SAPs. Your failure to provide such a list could result in sanctions issued by the DOT Modal Administration with jurisdiction over you.
As an employee, ask your employer for a list of SAPs in your area (even if the employer fired you or did not hire you). A SAP qualified to act in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program must meet the SAP qualification requirements in §40.281.
Who pays for the DOT drug or alcohol test or SAP recommended treatment/education, the employer or employee?
The Department’s regulations are silent on who is responsible for paying for the testing or SAP recommended treatment/education. Payment may be based an understanding between the employer and employee, including applicants for safety-sensitive positions.
An employer may not, however, refrain from sending a “split specimen” for testing because the employee does not pay for the test in advance.
Is there a list of prohibited drugs for being medically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)?
Section 391.41(b)(12)(i)&(ii) state:
(12)(i) Does not use any drug or substance identified in 21 CFR 1308.11 Schedule I, an amphetamine, a narcotic, or other habit-forming drug.
(ii) Does not use any non-Schedule I drug or substance that is identified in the other Schedules in 21 part 1308 except when the use is prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner, as defined in § 382.107, who is familiar with the driver’s medical history and has advised the driver that the substance will not adversely affect the driver’s ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Medical Examiners are required to give careful consideration to the effects of medications on a driver’s ability to operate a CMV safely before rendering the driver qualified.