Policy Requirements Checklist

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Requirements for a valid Substance Abuse Policy

Designated contact person, board adoption

  • # Identity of the person, office, branch or position designated by the employer to answer employee questions about the anti-drug and alcohol misuse prevention program
  • # Approval/adoption by the local governing board of the employer or operator, or other responsible individual with appropriate authority

Covered Employees

  • # Operation of a revenue service vehicle, in or out of revenue service
  • # Maintaining a revenue service vehicle or equipment used in revenue service
  • # Controlling dispatch/movement of a revenue service vehicle (determined by employer)
  • # Operation of a non-revenue vehicle requiring a CDL
  • # Volunteers:
    1. Must have CDL to drive vehicle, or
    2. Remunerated for service in excess of costs incurred
  • # Carrying a firearm for security purposes

*The policy must include a list of the actual positions/categories covered at your company

Prohibited Substances

  • # Marijuana
  • # Cocaine
  • # Amphetamines
  • # Opiates
  • # Phencyclidine
  • # Alcohol

Prohibited behavior

  • # Use of illegal drugs prohibited at all times
  • # Alcohol use prohibited 4 hours prior to performing safety-sensitive functions, while on call, and while performing safety-sensitive functions
  • # Alcohol use prohibited 8 hours after accident or until Post Accident test is performed
  • # Employees are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater


  • # Negative test before 1st safety-sensitive duty, must be made up if canceled
  • # If out of safety-sensitive duty for 90+ days, and out of random testing pool, emp needs DOT pre-employment test with negative result prior to returning to covered duty
  • # Applicant who previously failed/refused a DOT test must show evidence of treatment
  • # If employer chooses to require alcohol test:
    1. pre- SS duty,
    2. all covered employees
    3. after offer of employment/transfer
    4. must follow Part 40 regulations
    5. BAC < 0.02


  • # Scientifically valid selection method
  • # Equal chance of selection on each draw
  • # No discretion on the part of management/supervisors
  • # Testing is conducted on all days and hours throughout the year
  • # Unannounced and immediate
  • # Alcohol testing only permissible just before/ during/just after actual performance of safety-sensitive functions


FTA Thresholds:

  • # Fatality
  • # Medical treatment away from scene, unless driver discounted
  • # Disabling damage, unless driver discounted
  • # All other covered employees whose performance could have contributed to the accident
  • # Readily available (or considered a refusal to test)
  • # Readily available (testing is stayed while employee assists in resolution of the accident or receives medical attention following the accident)

Reasonable suspicion

  • # Trained supervisor
  • # Physical signs & symptoms, contemporaneous observation
  • # Alcohol testing only permissible just before/during/just after SS duty

Return-to-duty and Follow-up

  • # Conducted in accordance with Part 40, subpart O
  • # All tests conducted under direct observation


  • # Policy states all FTA-required testing conducted in accordance w/ 49 CFR Part 40

Requirement to Submit

  • # All covered employees are required to submit to drug and alcohol tests as a condition of employment in accordance with 49 CFR Part 655

Period of Coverage

  • # Drug test - anytime on while on duty
  • # Alcohol test (random & reasonable suspicion) - Just before, during, or immediately after actual performance of safety-sensitive functions

Test Refusal

  • # Failure to remain until the testing process is complete
  • # Failure to attempt to provide a breath or urine specimen
  • # Failure to provide a sufficient quantity of urine or breath without a valid medical explanation
  • # Failure to undergo a medical evaluation as required by the MRO or DER
  • # Failure to cooperate with any part of the testing process
  • # Failure to permit an observed or monitored collection when required
  • # Failure to follow an observer's instructions to raise and lower clothing and turn around (observed)
  • # Possessing or wearing a prosthetic or other device used to tamper with the testing process
  • # Failure to take a second test when required
  • # Admitting the adulteration or substitution of a specimen to the collector or MRO
  • # MRO verified adulterated/substituted sample
  • # Refusal to sign Step 2 of alcohol test form
  • # Failing to appear within a reasonable time

*For pre-employment, NOT a refusal: Failure to appear, failure to remain at site prior to start of test, aborting collection before test commences


  • # Positive drug or alcohol (above 0.04) test result or test refusal (SAP Referral Required)
  • # BAC in range of 0.02 to 0.039 (remove employee from safety-sensitive position- apply transit system disciplinary policy if applicable; DOT SAP referral prohibited)
  • # Dilute negative: must have fixed policy to retest or not retest (though policy may differ between test types)

Additional Employer Provisions Allowed

  • # Policy delineates between FTA and company policy prohibitions, terms, etc.
  • # The provisions of the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 may be incorporated in the policy statement but must be so identified

Compliance Tips

  • # Effective date of policy-normally found on cover of policy
  • # Policy distribution -Employees should be requested to sign a confirmation of receipt form
  • # Make sure future revisions of a substantive nature also receive Board approval
  • # Make sure all employees have the most current version of the policy
  • # Clearly differentiate between FTA and company authority

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