Drug and Alcohol Oversight Program
What is it?
All recipients of public transportation funds under Sections 5307, 5309 and 5311 are required to comply with Federal Transit Administration Drug and Alcohol Program requirements per 49 CFR Parts 655 and Part 40, as amended. MnDOT staff routinely monitors the policies, procedures, record keeping and reporting for all transit systems subject to these federal regulations. Ongoing technical support is provided through annual Management Information System reporting review, biennial program evaluation consisting of on-site and desk reviews, program start-up guidance and on-going training opportunities.
Annual Management Information System reporting
MIS reporting is required for all transit systems that use public transportation funds. Transit systems are required to report the results of their drug and alcohol testing activities performed under Federal Transit Administration authority on an annual basis, via an on-line reporting system. Transit systems and their third party operators are provided a user name and password in January of each year to report the previous years’ results, whether or not any testing was performed.
By February 15 of each year (per MnDOT), all transit systems and their third party operators must login to the FTA website to report their federal drug and alcohol testing data for the previous year. Each transit employer must also submit a drug and alcohol random testing and charts workbook for the previous years’ federal testing data to the MnDOT federal program assistant. Data in the workbook helps to reconcile data submitted in the MIS Report to ensure accuracy in reporting.
Service agent (vendor) oversight
Transit systems are responsible to ensure that all persons that perform drug and alcohol testing services must also comply with 49 CFR Parts 655 and 40, as amended. This includes the work of collection sites (e.g., local medical clinics, hospitals, chiropractic offices, etc.), consortia and/or third party administrators, medical review officers and substance abuse professionals. Additionally, laboratories that perform the scientific testing on all U.S. DOT drug specimen collections must be certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- U.S. DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance
- Resources for key persons (i.e., employers, employees, breath alcohol technicians, urine collectors, drug testing laboratories, medical review officers and substance abuse professionals)
- Important links (i.e., annual random DOT testing rates, approved evidential alcohol testing devices, certified lab test, MIS reporting instructions)
- Videos, posters and brochures (i.e., collection site security and integrity, mock collections, employee handbook, employer handbook)
Resources to find substance abuse professionals
- National Board for Certified Counselors
- The Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC)
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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.
- 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.
- 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' 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.
- 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.
- 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.