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.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has created a regulation (49CFR part 40) which defines the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) as a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug or alcohol regulation. The SAP makes recommendations regarding education, treatment, follow-up testing and after care. To qualify to be a SAP the individual must posses certain credentials, receive specific training and achieve a passing score on a nationally validated test.
A employee who refuses to submit to a required drug test or who receives a verified adulterated or substituted drug test must be immediately removed from performing safety-sensitive functions.The employee may not return to the performance of safety-sensitive duties until the employee successfully completes the return-to-duty process.
I tested positive so what should I do?Keep in mind that any employer doing a backgound check is likely to discover it. Hire Right has a drug and alcohol data base which has access to most testing labs. It is reported that Hire Right maintains records for 2500 motor carriers. It is important that individuals keep in mind that D.O.T. rules require that employers check with previous employers for drug and alcohol violations. Also keep in mind that employees can be fined for not telling or for falsifying information on an application. For non-DOT employers it is grounds for termination.The best policy is to be honest with your new employer and get a substance abuse evaluation asap.For additional information contact Robert W Harelson PsyD,SAP at http://www.dot-substanceabuseevaluations.com.
Your employer or prospective employer should have given you the names of SAP’s.In the event you were’nt given names that I would suggest a google search using “DOT Substance Abuse Evaluations” as a search title. DOT SAP’s are the most qualified. The hospital based evaluators and DUI program counselors are not the indivuals who are DOT qualified and they are often conducting screenings for treatment programs.Contact Robert W Harelson PsyD,SAP at http://www.dot-substanceabuseevaluations.com
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.
Companies establish drug and alcohol ploicies. If you are represented by a union contact your union representative.Unions typically address this issue in their contract negotiations. Companies establish a range of different policies. They range from a second chance policy. This typically involves the employee seeking a substance abuse evaluation and complying with the recommendations. The next possibility is a suspension usually from 30-60 days which also involves a substance abuse evaluation. The final policy is termination with no possibilty to be rehired. The bottom line is if a company feels that individual is a valued employee they will work to find a way to continue employment.For additional information contact Robert W Harelson PsyD,SAP @ http://www.dot-substanceabuseevaluations.com.
According to the DOT regulation 49 CFR Part 40, all companies with safety-sensitive employees that test positive on a random, pre-employment, reasonable suspicion or post-accident test, must be given Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) referrals. If an organization fails to do so, they can be subject to severe fines by the Department of Transporation (DOT). Contact Robert W Harelson PsyD,SAP at http://www.dot-substanceabuseevaluations.com
When a substance abuse professional diagnoses an indivivual with “alcoholism” that driver is medically disqualified and cannot return to driving by completing the SAP’s recommendations. The final step before returning to driving must be an examination by a DOT medical examiner.School bus drivers and municipalities are exemt from medical examinations.For additional information contact Robert W Harelson @ http://www.dot-substanceabuseevaluations.com.
There are a range of individuals performing substance abuse evaluations. They range from drug counselors to mental health professionals with specialized training.If you are attempting to determine if you have a substance abuse problem the drug counselor is an appropriate selection. In the event the evaluation is going to be used is a legal action or to make a custody or visitaion decision it is important that the evaluator have the strongest crenitials.