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D.O.T. ALCOHOL RULES

* not updated past the 2001 rules changes *


KEY LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS
TESTING IS NOW MANDATED
WHAT ALCOHOL USE IS PROHIBITED?
WHO IS AFFECTED BY D.O.T. RULES?
WHERE CAN I GET INFO AND MANUALS ON ALCOHOL TESTING?
STANDARDS & PROCEDURES
FOUR SITUATIONS REQUIRE ALCOHOL TEST
CONSEQUENCES OF ALCOHOL MISUSE:
ANNUAL M.I.S. REPORT
OTHER RULES FOR EMPLOYERS
PHILOSOPHY

KEY LEGISLATION:
OMNIBUS TRANSPORTATION EMPLOYEE TESTING ACT OF 1991
This Act codified as law the previous Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations (49 CFR Part 40) requiring drug testing of safety­sensitive employees in the transportation industry and, among other things, added alcohol to the list of drugs to be tested for!

KEY REGULATIONS:
49 CFR Part 40
Covers the entire domain of safety & fitness for duty in the transportation industry!
These regulations are posted at

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/40.htm

49 CFR Part 382
Covers (in greater detail) the domain of workplace drug & alcohol testing for D.O.T.!
These regulations are posted at

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/382.htm

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ALCOHOL TESTING IS NOW MANDATED:
(by 1994 ammendments to Part 40) These are separate regulations (NOT requiring MRO) HOWEVER, Many employers expect MRO to be knowledgable about the process AND the follow­up rules: EAP, Follow up etc.

WHAT ALCOHOL USE IS PROHIBITED?
Performance of safety­sensitive functions is prohibited… while having an indicated alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater. while using alcohol. within four hours (8 hours for flight crews) after using alcohol.

THIS IS KNOWN AS THE “FOUR HOUR BOTTLE-TO-THROTTLE” RULE!

WHO IS AFFECTED BY D.O.T. REGULATIONS?
[This is essentially the same list for alcohol as for the drug rules]

IN ADDITION:

ALL EMPLOYERS DOING BUSINESS WITH UNCLE SAM ARE MANDATED TO HAVE A DRUG FREE WORKPLACE PROGRAM

By mandate, each program must include 5 elements:

  1. Formal written policy
  2. E.A.P. (transportation industry currently exempt)
  3. Training for supervisors
  4. Employee Education
  5. Drug & Alcohol Testing

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WHERE CAN I GET INFO AND MANUALS ON ALCOHOL TESTING?

  1. D.O.T. FAX ON DEMAND (Also has “documents on demand.”)
    Phone: 1-800-225-3784
    Follow the robot commands to order a catalog/order blank… or…”Press 2″ to order documents via mail.
  2. Another method is to download them from the FEBBS bulletin board. FEBBS RETRIEVAL DATA:
    main menu >>Conferences>>Drug & Alcohol Regulatons>>
    ALSO FEBBS INTRO SCROLL contains info on training for BATS & SAPPs
  3. Try FWHA at 1-800-337-3492

 

INDUSTRY: # OF EMPLOYEES: Safety-Sensitive Employees:
Aviation (FAA) 340,000 Flight crew, attendants, instructors,Dispatchers, Air Traffic Controllers, Maintenance, et. al.
CMV (FWHA) 6,600,000 All CDL holders (Drivers)
Railroad (FRA) 80,000 Hours of Service Act employees, Engine, train & signal services, dispatchers.
Mass Transit (FTA) 200,000 Vehicle operators, controllers, mechanics, & Armed security personnel
Pipeline (RSPA) 120,000 Operations, maintenance & Emergency-response personnel
Maritime (USCG) 120,000 Crewmembers operating a commercial vessel

STANDARDS & PROCEDURES:

  1. TESTING PERSONNEL
    • Saliva Screening Technicians referred to as “SST’s.”
    • Certification is required to become an “SST.”
    • Breath Alcohol Technicians referred to as “BAT’s.”
    • Certification is also required to become a “BAT.”
    • Training manuals/guidance & info on SST & BAT training programs available from FEBBS.
          FEBBS RETRIEVAL INFO:
      • Main Menu > Conferences > Motor Carrier Safety > Alcohol & Drug Regs > Then “download” needed files.
      • [These training manuals also available thru FWHA FAX-ON-DEMAND @ 800-225-3784]
    • SST’s and BAT’s can be employed by the employer, or be outside contracted services. However, law enforcement officers will not conduct roadside alcohol tests.
  2. EQUIPMENT
    • Saliva Screening systems must meet standards.
      [Updated list of approved systems available thru FWHA FAX-ON-DEMAND @ 800-225-3784]
      [Click here to import a recent list of approved saliva screening devices]
    • Saliva Screening site must be located such that confirmatory breath test (w/EBT) can be accomplished within 30 minutes.
    • Breath Alcohol Devices must meet rigid standards and must be “evidentiary,” which means they must print out a “hard copy” forensically usable result. They are thus referred to as EBT (Evidentiary Breath Testing) devices. These devices are required to priint out the results, date and time, a sequential test number, and the name and serial number of the EBT.
        EBT CERTIFICATION (BY DHHS) IS MANDATED:

      • CURRENTLY ONLY 7 DEVICES have been CERTIFIED.
      • Certified Provider List (CPL) is published monthly in the Federal Register.
      • [Updated list available thru FWHA FAX­ON­DEMAND or downloaded from FEBBS Bulletin Board]
      • [Some of these manufacturers are also looking for sales reps.]
    • FEBBS RETRIEVAL INFO:
      Main Menu > Conferences > Motor Carrier Safety > Alcohol & Drug Regs > Then “download” needed files.
    • [Click here to import a recent list of approved breath alcohol devices]
  3. PROCEDURE
    • Screening testing can be carried out either by SST’s using saliva screening tests OR by BAT’s using EBT’s.
    • An initial result below 0.02 is considered negative!
    • Employees testing above 0.02 must then undergo a CONFIRMATION TEST which must be done by EBT within 30 minutes of the screening test.
  4. ALCOHOL LEVELS
    • RULE ONE: 0.04 IS “POSITIVE!”
    • GRAY ZONE: 0.039 to 0.02 IS NEITHER NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE!
    • O.K. & NEGATIVE: 0.019 AND BELOW MAY BE RETURNED TO WORK!
  5. DOCUMENTATIONStudy it!Click here to view an actual “Breath Alcohol Testing Form”
        It is not yet a standardized form, but contains all the information required. A standardized form may be coming soon.
        IT IS A TRIPLICATE FORM: MEMORIZE WHERE THE THREE COPIES GO:
      • Copy 1- (White): Forward to the employer.
      • Copy 2- (Green): Employee retains (just as in drug testing.)
      • Copy 3- (Blue): Breath Alcohol Technician retains.

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FOUR SITUATIONS REQUIRE ALCOHOL TEST:

  1. POST ACCIDENT
    D.O.T. classifies an “accident” as:

    1. Any fatality
    2. Citation with medical treatment away for the scene of the occurrance.
    3. Citation with any vehicle having to be towed.

    Alcohol testing must be done urgently (ASAP) in order to be forensically valid.

    • 2 hrs is ideal!
    • 2-8 hrs. = marginal!
    • After 8 hrs. FORGET IT!
  2. REASONABLE SUSPICION
    Alcohol testing must be done urgently (ASAP) in order to be forensically valid.

    • 2 hrs is ideal!
    • 2-8 hrs. = marginal!
    • After 8 hrs. FORGET IT!
  3. RANDOM
    DOT adjusts Random Rates annually based on the annual MIS reports required of employers each March 15. New rates take effect on January 15.

 

  1. Re-employment testing not required! Initial Part 40 DOT regulations called for pre­employment testing but this was rescinded due to a court order after suit by unions and others.
  2.  PLEASE NOTE: that the rules for random, and post accident testing are slightly different for the pipeline, railroad and maritime industries.

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CONSEQUENCES OF ALCOHOL MISUSE:

  • IF .04 or above Employee is removed from safety sensitive duty and referred to Substance Abuse Professional.
  • Between .039 and .02 Employee is removed from safety sensitive duty for 8 hours (24 hrs. for truck/bus drivers & other FHWA) — or re-tested.
  • Cannot return to safety sensitive duties until they have been evaluated in person by a SAP
  • If recommended, must complete the treatment recommended by the SAP. They must also have a negative return to duty test and follow­up testing with at least 6 tests in the first 12 months ­­ with follow­up testing for up to 5 years as the SAP sees fit.)
  • Employees who test between 0.02 and 0.039 are neither positive or negative, however, they must be removed from safety sensitive functions until they test below 0.02 or their next duty period, which must be at least 8 hours. (24 hours for FHWA truck & bus drivers.) No SAP referral is required for this range!

ANNUAL M.I.S. REPORT:

  • Alcohol testing results and tallies will be included in the M.I.S. report.
  • Note that the “random rates adjustments” (see under RANDOM above) will be based ONLY on the industry wide results of RANDOM tests. Post Accident, Reasonable Suspicion, and RTD/Follow­up data will not be included.

OTHER RULES FOR EMPLOYERS:

  • Employers will NOT BE REQUIRED to provide rehabilitation
  • Employers will NOT BE REQUIRED to provide treatment, or to re­instate employees
  • Before hiring, employers must go back two years to detect any positive test, and if such, obtain written confirmation from the SAP that the employee completed the recommended treatment.
  • Employers must provide a minimum of one hour of training each year on alcohol and drugs for supervisors and managers.

PHILOSOPHY:

  • The entire thrust and philosophy is DETERRENCE and NOT DETECTION!
  • REGULATED AND NON-REGULATED PROGRAMS ARE BOTH SUPPORTED BY N.I.D.A./S.A.M.H.S.A.

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1998 DOT RANDOM TEST RATES — AS OF 1/15/98

Operating Administration % Random Rate for Drugs % Random Rate for Alcohol
Federal Aviation Administration
25
10
Federal Highway Administration
50
10
Federal Railroad Administration
25
25
Federal Transit Administration
50
10
Research/Special Programs Adm.
50
N/A
U.S. Coast Guard
50
N/A