When an individual tests positive for drugs or alcohol the Coast Guard files a complaint which must be responded to in 20 days. The individual has the choice of a hearing or he can enter into a settlement agreement. At his time the individuals Coast Guard issued credentials are revoked until the matter is resolved. The individual must then submit to a substance abuse evaluation (SAE) and comply with the recommendations. The SAE must be conducted by a DOT approved evaluator. After the SAE process the individual must complete 12 random drug tests and attend at least 2 AA/A meeting a month for twelve months. The final step is obtaining a MRO report stating that the individual is drug free and eligible to return to work.
Can I refuse to take a drug test at work? The answer is no. A refusal is considered a postive test result.
He or she is a licensed physican who is responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results generated by a drug testing program to evaluate laboratory test results to assure proper interpretation of those results. The MRO contacts the employee to advise when the test is postive and provides an opportunity for the employee to present a medical explanation.
The Dept of Transportation has issued a notice about medical marijuana use. In their 12/3/12 release they state that regardless of new state laws the Dept continues to clasify marijana as a sch 1 drug. MRO’s can not accept physican recommendations as grounds for a negative finding.
Companies have different policies but most often they will not consider an applicant once they fail a drug test. Third party administrators ( DISA, ASAP) will exclude an individual from employment for 6 months. The best course of action is to have a substance abuse evaluation and an experienced SAP can advise you as to companies policies.For additional information contact Robert W Harelson @ http://www.dot-substanceabuseevaluations.com.