Drug and Alcohol Compliance Program
What is it?
All recipients of public transportation funds under federal code Sections 5307, 5309 and 5311 are required to comply with Federal Transit Administration drug and alcohol program requirements in accordance with 49 CFR Part 655 and U.S. Department of Transportation’s Procedures For Transportation Workplace Drug And Alcohol Testing Programs in 49 CFR Part 40, as amended. MnDOT staff routinely monitors the policies, procedures, record keeping and reporting for most transit systems subject to these federal regulations. Ongoing technical support is provided through annual review of drug and alcohol testing data reported to FTA in their Drug and Alcohol Management Information System (DAMIS), program evaluations, program start-up guidance and on-going training opportunities.
Annual Drug and Alcohol Management Information System reporting
DAMIS 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, including if no testing occurred during the reporting year.
By February 15 of each year (per MnDOT), all transit systems and their third party operators must login to the FTA DAMIS Reporting website to report their federal drug and alcohol testing data for the previous year. Each transit employer must also submit a drug and alcohol testing workbook for the previous years’ testing data to the MnDOT staff member who sends the e-mail notification for the annual reporting. Data entered in the workbook helps MnDOT to reconcile data submitted to FTA in the online DAMIS Report to ensure accuracy in reporting.
Service agent (vendor) oversight
Transit systems are responsible to ensure that all persons that perform DOT drug and alcohol testing services for them and their covered employees comply with 49 CFR Parts 655 and 40, as amended. This includes the services of collection sites (e.g., local medical clinics, hospitals, chiropractic offices, mobile collection service providers), 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 urine specimen collections must be certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A list of DHHS-certified laboratories can be found on the DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy & Compliance (ODAPC) website. Effective January 1, 2018, all service agents providing DOT testing services must individually subscribe to ODAPC’s e-mail list serve.
- 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.
- Ensure that all personnel that perform a safety-sensitive function are enrolled in a random testing pool that uses a scientifically valid method for selecting participants for drug and/or alcohol testing.
- Random testing should be spread reasonably throughout the calendar year in a non-predictable pattern.
- Random selections should occur at least on a quarterly basis.
- Random testing should occur throughout all hours of the day and days of the week that safety-sensitive functions are performed.
- Entering random testing data in the Drug and Alcohol Testing Workbook (Excel spreadsheet) will plot Year, Time, and Weekday Charts that can assist with scheduling future random testing.
- Review Best Practices for DOT Random Drug and Alcohol Testing | US Department of Transportation
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 (after a DOT testing violation)
- Ensure that collectors are observing all return-to-duty specimen collections. This should be noted in the “remarks” section of the federal custody and control form.
Follow-up testing (after a DOT testing violation)
- 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 performing a safety-sensitive 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 federal custody and control form.
- Ensure the testing data you reported in the online reporting system to FTA matches the testing data entered in your annual testing workbook.
- Ensure that the employer, contact, and consortium/third party administrator information in the online report to FTA is accurate.