Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Drug and Alcohol Oversight Program


Orange barrels on a highway

Recommendations to ensure compliance


  • Format information about your agency’s decision-making differently than the format of the information that the U.S. Department of Transportation requires (49 CFR Part 655 and Part 40).
  • Tell employees what actions your agency will take if it receives a ‘negative dilute’ drug test result.
  • If your agency has a “Zero-Tolerance” or “One-Strike” policy, include return to duty testing and follow-up testing Information in your policy. You may include a statement indicating that this information will be used only if a court-decision would require you to allow the employee to return to safety-sensitive work after a positive test result or a test refusal.


  • Create a training agenda which includes the topic that you are training on and the amount of time spent on that topic. Note: Each covered employee must receive ‘at least’ 60 minutes of training on the signs and symptoms of drug use.
  • Document the employee’s attendance at all training sessions when you include drug and alcohol related topics (includes prescription and over the counter information).
  • Train all appropriate staff on how to determine if there is reasonable suspicion for prohibited drug use or alcohol misuse.

General testing

  • Tell your collection site, preferably in writing, which agency is authorizing the test (e.g., Federal Transit Authority, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Railroad Administration or non-DOT).
  • Verify that the correct DOT authorizing agency is indicated on the federal custody and control form or alcohol testing form.
  • Monitor the time that elapses between the employee’s notification to appear for testing and the time the test was conducted.
  • Monitor the custody and control form and alcohol testing form for collector’s errors.
  • When collector errors are discovered, attach affidavits to correct the error or place a note in the file indicating what other corrective action the employer has taken.

Pre-employment testing

  • Ask applicants and transferees if they have ever tested positive on a pre-employment drug or alcohol test that was conducted by a DOT-regulated employer, and were not hired.
  • Request the previous DOT employers's drug and alcohol testing history for all covered employees within 30 days of the employee’s start of safety-sensitive duty.
  • If an employee’s previous DOT employer does not respond to your first request for the drug and alcohol testing history within 30 days of your employee’s first performance of safety-sensitive duties, document your good faith efforts (second and/or 3rd attempts), to get this information.

Reasonable suspicion testing

  • Ensure that reasonable suspicion determinations are based on observable and contemporaneous signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol use.

Post accident testing

  • Use post-accident decision making forms to determine if DOT post-accident drug and alcohol tests need to be performed.
  • If the accident does not involve a fatality, and the driver can be discounted as a contributing factor to the accident, do not conduct post-accident testing. Document this on the post-accident decision making form.
  • Ensure the collection site is given the correct information regarding the correct post-accident testing authority (e.g., Federal Transit Authority, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Railroad Administration or non-DOT).
  • Ensure the collection site uses non-DOT testing forms for tests conducted under the employer’s authority.

Return to duty testing

  • Ensure that collectors are observing all return-to-duty specimen collections. This should be noted in the “remarks” section of the control and custody form.

Follow-up testing

  • Ensure that the follow-up testing is conducted in accordance with the substance abuse follow-up testing plan.
  • Ensure that at least six tests are conducted within the 1st year (rolling 12 months) of the employee’s return to duty after a positive test result or test refusal.
  • Ensure that any additional tests required by the follow-up plan are conducted according to the substance abuse professional instructions.
  • Ensure that collectors are observing all follow-up specimen collections. This should be noted in the “remarks” section of the control and custody form

MIS reporting

  • Ensure the number of tests you reported in the online reporting system matches the number of tests in your random testing workbooks.
  • Ensure that there are no pre-employment alcohol tests reported in the on-line report (unless your agency has chosen to conduct pre-employment alcohol tests).
  • Verify and/or update the pre-filled employer, contact, and consortium/third party administrator information in the online report.