Driving or operating other vehicles and machinery while under the influence of drugs and alcohol can have costly and even deadly consequences. Thus, the United States Department of Transportation maintains strict regulations regarding alcohol and drug testing among transportation employees. When an employee’s test is returned positive, there are several steps an employer must follow before the individual can return to work.
Substance Abuse Professional Evaluation
DOT employees who test positive for drugs or alcohol during a workplace testing procedure must be evaluated by a substance abuse professional, or SAP; a list of acceptable SAPs should be provided by the employer. During this evaluation, the substance abuse professional will determine the best solution for the positive drug test, which may include employee education and substance abuse treatment.
After the SAP evaluation, the employee must follow any prescribed plan for drug abuse treatment or counseling regarding his health and his substance abuse problem. Once all courses and treatments have been completed, the employee will undergo a follow-up evaluation by the same substance abuse provider to examine their compliance with all recommended treatments and measure their progress.
Additional Drug Testing
If the SAP is satisfied with the employee’s completion of the required course of treatment, the employee will be asked to provide a breath and/or urine sample, which must test negative for drugs and alcohol. If this test is negative, the employee may then return to work. However, the employee will remain eligible for unannounced follow-up drug testing at least six times within his first year of returning to work. Employees may remain eligible for further follow-up tests for up to 60 months after returning to work, depending on the recommendation of the SAP.
At Oschmann Employee Screening Services, we have extensive experience with DOT requirements, including drug and alcohol regulations and hours-of-service rules. We can help you maintain DOT compliance in Arizona to prevent violations and fines. Please visit us online for more information, or call us locally at (520) 745-1029 or toll-free at (800) 224-8532.