Drug & Alcohol Testing: Transportation Employees Administrative Procedure

  • Related: Policy Code B4

    Purpose

    This program complies with federal regulations. Copies of these regulations are available in the drug and alcohol program manager’s office and can be found on the Internet at the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance website.

    All covered employees are required to submit to drug and alcohol tests as a condition of employment in accordance with these regulations.

    Covered Employees

    Covered positions by job title:

    School Bus Driver
    Transportation Manager
    Transportation Dispatcher
    CTE Program Aide/Driver *
    CTE Teachers who sign an Educator Bus Driving Agreement *

    Positions denoted with an asterisk * are only safety-sensitive if the employee holds a CDL and operates a school bus as a part of their job duties.

    This program applies to every person whose position requires the possession of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and any person applying or existing employees transferring for such positions. Definitions below clarify what portions of the above employee’s duties are “safety-sensitive functions.”

    • Driving a commercial motor vehicle which requires the driver to have a CDL
    • Waiting to be dispatched to operate a commercial motor vehicle
    • Inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle
    • Performing all other functions in or upon a commercial motor vehicle (except resting in a sleeper berth)
    • Loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle, supervising or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a vehicle being loaded or unloading, remaining in readiness to operate the vehicle
    • Repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled vehicle

    Prohibited Behavior

    Per federal regulations, use of illegal drugs is prohibited at all times. All covered employees are prohibited from reporting for duty or remaining on duty any time there is a quantifiable presence of a prohibited drug in the body at or above the minimum thresholds defined in Part 40. Prohibited drugs include:

    • marijuana
    • cocaine
    • phencyclidine (PCP)
    • opioids
    • amphetamines

    All covered employees are prohibited from performing or continuing to perform safety-sensitive functions while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater.

    All covered employees are prohibited from consuming alcohol while performing safety-sensitive job functions or while on-call to perform safety-sensitive job functions. If an on-call employee has consumed alcohol, they must acknowledge the use of alcohol at the time that they are called to report for duty. If the on-call employee claims the ability to perform his or her safety-sensitive function, he or she must take an alcohol test with a result of less than 0.02 prior to performance.

    All covered employees are prohibited from consuming alcohol within four (4) hours prior to the performance of safety-sensitive job functions.

    All covered employees are prohibited from consuming alcohol for eight (8) hours following involvement in an accident or until he or she submits to the post-accident drug and alcohol test, whichever occurs first.

    Consequences for Violations

    Following a positive drug or alcohol (BAC at or above 0.04) test result or test refusal, the employee will be immediately removed from safety-sensitive duty and referred to a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

    Following a BAC of 0.02 or greater, but less than 0.04, the employee will be immediately removed from safety-sensitive duties until the start of the employee’s next regularly scheduled duty period, but not less than 24 hours following administration of the test, and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

    Treatment/Discipline

    Per EWSD program, any employee who tests positive for drugs or alcohol (BAC at or above 0.04) or refuses to test will be referred to a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

    The District will not pay for the rehabilitation and treatment of any employee who has tested positive for drug or alcohol use, whether or not such rehabilitation and treatment is made a precondition of that employee's continued employment or return to a safety sensitive position.

    Employees may utilize paid or unpaid leave during a rehabilitation program, subject to the conditions in their respective collective bargaining agreement.

    Circumstances for Testing

    Pre-Employment Testing

    A negative pre-employment drug test result is required before an employee can first perform safety-sensitive functions. If a pre-employment test is cancelled, the individual will be required to undergo another test and successfully pass with a verified negative result before performing safety-sensitive functions.

    If a covered employee has not performed a safety-sensitive function for 30 or more consecutive calendar days, and has not been in the random testing pool during that time, the employee must take and pass a pre-employment test before he or she can return to a safety-sensitive function.

    A covered employee or applicant who has previously failed or refused a DOT pre-employment drug and/or alcohol test must provide proof of having successfully completed a referral, evaluation, and treatment plan meeting DOT requirements.

    Drug Testing Exceptions

    A driver is not required to undergo a pre-employment test if:

    • The driver has participated in a DOT testing program within the previous 30 days; and
    • While participating in that program, either:
      • Was drug tested within the past six months from the date of application with Essex Westford School District, or
      • Participated in the random drug testing program for the previous 12 months from the date of application with Essex Westford School District; and
    • Essex Westford School District can ensure that no prior employer of the driver of whom Essex Westford School District has knowledge has records of a violation of this part or the controlled substances use rule of another DOT agency within the previous six months.


    Reasonable Suspicion Testing

    All covered employees shall be subject to a drug and/or alcohol test when Essex Westford School District has reasonable suspicion to believe that the covered employee has used a prohibited drug and/or engaged in alcohol misuse.

    A reasonable suspicion referral for testing will be made by a trained supervisor or other trained company official on the basis of specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors of the covered employee.

    Covered employees may be subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing any time while on duty. Covered employees may be subject to reasonable suspicion alcohol testing while the employee is performing safety-sensitive functions, just before the employee is to perform safety-sensitive functions, or just after the employee has ceased performing such functions.

    Post-Accident Testing

    Covered employees shall be subject to post-accident drug and alcohol testing under the following circumstances:

    Fatal Accidents

    As soon as practicable following an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce, and  involving the loss of a human life, drug and alcohol tests will be conducted on each surviving covered employee who was performing safety-sensitive functions with respect to the vehicle.

    Non-fatal Accidents

    As soon as practicable following an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce, and not involving the loss of a human life, an alcohol test will be conducted on each driver who receives a citation within eight (8) hours of the occurrence under State or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, if:

    • The accident results in injuries requiring immediate medical treatment away from the scene; or
    • One or more motor vehicles incur disabling damage and must be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

    As soon as practicable following an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce, and not involving the loss of a human life, a drug test will be conducted on each driver who receives a citation within thirty-two (32) hours of the occurrence under State or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, if:

    • The accident results in injuries requiring immediate medical treatment away from the scene; or
    • One or more motor vehicles incur disabling damage and must be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

    A covered employee subject to post-accident testing must remain readily available, or it is considered a refusal to test. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the delay of necessary medical attention for the injured following an accident or to prohibit a covered employee from leaving the scene of an accident for the period necessary to obtain assistance in responding to the accident or to obtain necessary emergency medical care.

    Random Testing

    Random drug and alcohol tests are unannounced and unpredictable, and the dates for administering random tests are spread reasonably throughout the calendar year. Random testing will be conducted at all times of the day when safety-sensitive functions are performed.

    Testing rates will meet or exceed the minimum annual percentage rate set each year within each DOT agency. Testing rates for the current year be viewed online at Transportation.gov

    The selection of employees for random drug and alcohol testing will be made by a scientifically valid method, such as a random number table or a computer-based random number generator. Under the selection process used, each covered employee will have an equal chance of being tested each time selections are made.

    A covered employee may only be randomly tested for alcohol misuse while the employee is performing safety-sensitive functions, just before the employee is to perform safety-sensitive functions, or just after the employee has ceased performing such functions. A covered employee may be randomly tested for prohibited drug use anytime while on duty.

    Each covered employee who is notified of selection for random drug or random alcohol testing must immediately proceed to the designated testing site.

    Return to Duty Testing

    Any employee who is allowed to return to safety-sensitive duty after failing or refusing to submit to a DOT drug and/or alcohol test must first be evaluated by a substance abuse professional (SAP), complete a SAP-required program of education and/or treatment, and provide a negative return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol test result. All tests will be conducted in accordance with 49 CFR Part 40, Subpart O.

    Follow-up Testing

    Employees returning to safety-sensitive duty following leave for substance abuse rehabilitation will be required to undergo unannounced follow-up alcohol and/or drug testing for a period of one (1) to five (5) years, as directed by the SAP. The duration of testing will be extended to account for any subsequent leaves of absence, as necessary. The type (drug and/or alcohol), number, and frequency of such follow-up testing shall be directed by the SAP. All testing will be conducted in accordance with 49 CFR Part 40, Subpart O.

    Testing Procedures

    All drug and alcohol testing will be conducted in accordance with 49 CFR Part 40, as amended.

    Dilute Urine Specimen

    If there is a negative dilute test result, EWSD will conduct one additional retest. The result of the second test will be the test of record.

    Dilute negative results with a creatinine level greater than or equal to 2 mg/dL but less than or equal to 5 mg/dL require an immediate recollection under direct observation (see 49 CFR Part 40, section 40.67).

    Split Specimen Test

    In the event of a verified positive test result, or a verified adulterated or substituted result, the employee can request that the split specimen be tested at a second laboratory. Essex Westford School District guarantees that the split specimen test will be conducted in a timely fashion. The employee will be required to pay for the split specimen test.

    Test Refusals

    As a covered employee, you have refused to test if you:

    1. Fail to appear for any test (except a pre-employment test) within a reasonable time, as determined by Essex Westford School District.
    2. Fail to remain at the testing site until the testing process is complete.  An employee who leaves the testing site before the testing process commences for a pre-employment test has not refused to test.
    3. Fail to attempt to provide a breath or urine specimen. An employee who does not provide a urine or breath specimen because he or she has left the testing site before the testing process commenced for a pre-employment test has not refused to test.
    4. In the case of a directly-observed or monitored urine drug collection, fail to permit monitoring or observation of your provision of a specimen.
    5. Fail to provide a sufficient quantity of urine or breath without a valid medical explanation.
    6. Fail or decline to take a second test as directed by the collector or Essex Westford School District for drug testing.
    7. Fail to undergo a medical evaluation as required by the Medical Review Officer (MRO) or Essex Westford School District’s Designated Employer Representative (DER).
    8. Fail to cooperate with any part of the testing process.
    9. Fail to follow an observer’s instructions to raise and lower clothing and turn around during a directly-observed test.
    10. Possess or wear a prosthetic or other device used to tamper with the collection process.
    11. Admit to the adulteration or substitution of a specimen to the collector or MRO.
    12. Refuse to sign the certification at Step 2 of the Alcohol Testing Form (ATF).
    13. Fail to remain readily available following an accident.

    As a covered employee, if the MRO reports that you have a verified adulterated or substituted test result, you have refused to take a drug test.

    As a covered employee, if you refuse to take a drug and/or alcohol test, you incur the same consequences as testing positive and will be immediately removed from performing safety-sensitive functions, and referred to a SAP.

    Voluntary Self-Referral

    Employees who admit to alcohol misuse or controlled substances use to a supervisor, the Director of Human Resources, or the Transportation Manager prior to being notified of a reasonable suspicion, random, or post-accident test, and who have not refused a drug or alcohol test will be immediately removed from safety-sensitive duty and referred to a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and will be subject to return-to-duty and follow-up testing requirements contained in this policy.

    Prescription Drug Use

    The appropriate use of legally prescribed drugs and non-prescription medications is not prohibited. However, the use of any substance which carries a warning label that indicates that mental functioning, motor skills, or judgment may be adversely affected must be reported to Director of Human Resources. Medical advice should be sought, as appropriate, while taking such medication and before performing safety-sensitive duties.

    Contact Person

    For questions about EWSD’s Drug & Alcohol Testing Program for Transportation Employees, contact the Essex Westford School District Transportation Manager, Jamie Smith. Phone: (802)857-7037.

    This individual also fills the drug and alcohol program manager and DER roles listed in this program.

    Cost of Testing

    The District will pay for tests required by the Testing Act or this program.

    Dissemination of Program Materials

    Each employee covered by this program, and a representative of a recognized local employee organization will be provided with written notice of this program.

    Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

    As of January 4, 2020, the following personal information collected and maintained under DOT regulations shall be reported to the DOT Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse:

    (i) A verified positive, adulterated, or substituted drug test result;
    (ii) An alcohol confirmation test with a concentration of 0.04 or higher;
    (iii) A refusal to submit to any test required by subpart C of this part;
    (iv) An employer's report of actual knowledge, as defined at §382.107:

    (A) On duty alcohol use pursuant to §382.205;
    (B) Pre-duty alcohol use pursuant to §382.207;
    (C) Alcohol use following an accident pursuant to §382.209; and
    (D) Controlled substance use pursuant to §382.213;

    (v) A substance abuse professional (SAP as defined in §40.3 of this title) report of the successful completion of the return-to-duty process;
    (vi) A negative return-to-duty test; and
    (vii) An employer's report of completion of follow-up testing.