All employees covered under DOT regulations arerequired to have periodic DOT drug and alcohol testing.This includes commercial motor vehicle drivers, railroad workers, aviation workers, transit workers and more. Generally, DOT regulations cover safety-sensitive transportation employers and employees.
When an employee fails a DOT drug or alcohol test, they are required to be evaluated by a DOT qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).
The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare. This is part of the return-to-duty process.
A DOT qualified Substance Abuse Professional can be a licensed physician, licensed social worker, licensed psychologist, Licensed or certified employee assistance professional, licensed therapist, certified drug counselor or other persons that have been certified by organizations meeting the DOT’s requirements.
The SAP’s function is to protect the public interest in safety – not the employee or employer. His or her responsibility is to professionally evaluate the employee and recommend appropriate education and/or treatment, follow-up tests and after care.
A DOT qualified SAP has a huge responsibility to public safety and is required to follow the Department of Transportation’s regulations.
What is the return-to-duty process?
If you fail a DOT drug or alcohol test, you will be required to complete a return-to-duty process with a DOTqualified substance abuse professional (SAP) before you are eligible to return to safety-sensitive work.
Your SAP will meet with you face to face and recommend different treatment programs as part of the process. Your SAP will follow-up to ensure you are complying with the treatment recommendations prescribed. When your SAP feels you have made enough progress, you will be called to schedule a clinical Follow-Up Evaluation.
When your SAP determines that you have complied with the treatment recommendations, your SAP will send a report of compliance to your employer. Your employer then can decide whether to arrange for you to take a return-to-duty test.If you test positive again, you must go through the entire SAP process again.
When you do return to a DOT-related safety-sensitive position, you will be subject to unannounced testing for drugs and/or alcohol at LEAST 6 times during the next 12 months and you could be subject to this testing for up to 60 months (as prescribed by the SAP).