DOT and Non-DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing
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Drug Testing

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DOT Drug Services at NTA

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Federal Regulations
Types of Tests
Drugs Included in Testing
Basic Testing Procedure
Drug Screen Results
Consequences of a Positive Controlled Substance Test
Frequently Asked Questions

Federal Regulations

Regulations quoted below are from CFR Part 382 Subpart B as pertaining to drivers of commercial motor vehicles regarding controlled substance use.

No driver "shall report for duty or remain on duty requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions when the driver uses any controlled substance, except when the use is pursuant to the instructions of a licensed medical practitioner" who has advised the driver that the substance will not adversely affect the driver's ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.
No employer "having actual knowledge that a driver has used a controlled substance shall permit the driver to perform or continue to perform a safety-sensitive function."
No driver "shall report for duty, remain on duty, or perform a safety-sensitive function if the driver tests positive for controlled substances".
No employer "having knowledge that a driver has tested positive for controlled substances shall permit the driver to perform or continue to perform safety-sensitive functions".

Types of Tests Required

A pre-employment drug screen is required for prospective employees prior to safety-sensitive functions. The employer must receive a verified negative drug screen before allowing any employee to perform safety-sensitive duties.
Random testing of safety-sensitive employees is required at a rate of 25% of employees per year. This testing must be evenly spread throughout the year and the selection process must be made by a scientifically valid method. NTA, Inc.'s clients may choose a random selection frequency of weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. Our randoms are electronically generated by a computer program written to meet government standards. Each time a selection is made, every employee has an equal chance of being chosen.
Companies with 7 eligible employees or less may be placed in a consortium. Consortiums are random testing pools that consist of drivers/employees from many different companies. Selection percentages are met by the entire consortium and are spread evenly throughout the year on a quarterly basis.

Post Accident
Post accident drug testing is required within 32 hours of an accident where any of the following occurences have taken place:
the accident involved a fatality
any of the participants in the accident received bodily injury requiring immediate medical treatment away from the scene
any vehicle involved received disabling damage requiring tow away
the driver was issued a citation under state or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident

Reasonable Suspicion
An employee is required to submit to reasonable suspicion testing when a *trained supervisor or company official has reason to believe that the employee has violated the prohibitions of CFR 382 subpart. The observations must be based on specific aspects concerning the appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors of the employee and must be documented accordingly.
*Supervisor Training Information.

Return to Duty
Before an employee can return to safety-sensitive duties after testing positive, the employer must ensure that a return to duty test is administered and a verified negative result is received. In the event that a return to duty test is required, the employee must also be evaluated by a substance abuse professional (SAP) and participate in any assistance program prescribed.

If a substance abuse professional determines that an employee needs assistance resolving problems associated with drug use, the employer shall ensure that the employee is subject to at least 6 unannounced follow-up tests within the next 12 months of employment. The SAP may determine follow-up testing for up to 60 months and may terminate the requirement for the follow-up testing at any time after the minimum requirement has been met. Follow-up testing is in addition to required random and post-accident testing.

Drugs Included in Testing

Type of DrugInitital Test level (ng/ml)

Basic Controlled SubstanceTesting Procedures

An employee shall report to a collection facility as soon as possible following notification that a drug screen must be taken.

Collection of a urine specimen for the purpose of drug testing must be completed using a federal chain of custody form and a split specimen sample kit. The donor must remain at the collection facility until a specimen has been provided. After an adequate specimen has been collected, the collector completes a chain of custody form, prepares the specimen and paperwork for shipment. The specimen collection procedures and chain of custody are in place to ensure the specimen's security is not compromised.

Laboratory Screening
49 CFR Part 40 sets forth the procedures for drug testing using DHHS certified laboratories. When the specimen arrives at the laboratory, the primary specimen is opened and used for screening. The split specimen is stored at the laboratory. Each specimen undergoes an initial screen. Any specimen found positive by the initial screen must be confirmed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to determine exact levels. Next, the result is reported to the Medical Review Officer at NTA, Inc.

Drug Screen Results

Negative Results
Negative results are received by NTA, Inc. and reported by fax or email to the company's confidential contacts. All reports are confidential, therefore strict procedures are in place to insure that only designated company officials receive information regarding test results.

Positive Results
Positive results are processed by NTA, Inc.'s Medical Review Officer following the regulations set forth in 49 CFR part 40. The MRO makes every effort to contact the donor to discuss the possibility of a medical explanation. If no medical explanation is given the result is verified as positive. When the paperwork is completed, the result is reported verbally to the company's confidential contact and a written confirmation is sent by mail marked "Confidential". The same procedure is followed to report the test result if it is confirmed negative by written documentation from a physician.

Split Specimen Testing
When there is no medical explanation for a positive result and the donor feels there has been a possible mistake, the donor has the option of having the split sample sent to a different laboratory for reanalysis. The initial result is still reported as positive to the company, however the company is informed that a reanalysis has been ordered. If the report findings from the second test verify a negative result, the initial result is then verified negative also.

Consequences of a Positive Controlled Substance Test
*for this section "employee" means anyone whose job position requires controlled substance testing under 49CFR

After a verified positive drug screen, the following disciplinary action(s) must be taken:

If the company policy requires termination, the employee may be terminated but must still be referred to a substance abuse professional.
If the company wishes to continue an employment relationship with the employee, the employee must be removed from safety-sensitive functions and referred to a substance abuse professional for evaluation and treatment. If there is a non-safety sensitive job available, the employee may be allowed to work in that function until evaluation, treatment, and a return-to-duty test has been completed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:What is the turnaround time for a test result?
A:Most normal negative test results are reported within 24 hours from the time the specimen reached the laboratory. Positive or abnormal tests take a few days longer due to the confirmation and verification process.
Q:How much do the test supplies cost?
A:All conventional test supplies are free of charge. This includes the chain of custody form, sample kits, air bills, and lab packs for shipping.
Q:What are the options for receiving results?
A:NTA, Inc. currently provides five means of receiving test results: by mail, phone call, fax, web, or email
Q:How do I find a collection site?
A:NTA, Inc. has a list of over 19,000 collection sites all over America for our clients' convenience. If there is not currently a facility in your area, we will help find a location for you.
Q:What industries besides the Department of Transportation are required to do controlled substance testing?
A:Pipeline, Rail, Transit, & Coast Guard

Pipeline - Regulations 49 CFR Part 199
Railroad - 49 CFR Part 219
Transit - Part 655
Coast Guard - Part 46, Part 33
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