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Commercial Driver Drug and Alcohol Testing

HROG Section:
Employment
Document Title:
Commercial Driver Drug and Alcohol Testing
Initial Date Posted:
1997
Board Approval:
Applies To:
All DCCCD Employees
Source:
District Human Resources
Related TASB Policy:
Last Date Revised:

Purpose

Background

Definitions

Commercial Driver - A Commercial Driver is an employee and/or volunteer who has a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and who operates a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) on a routine, intermittent or occasional basis (even once a year and/or possibly during the year).

Commercial Vehicle - A motor vehicle used to transport passengers or property if it:

  • has a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds including a towed unit with a gross vehicle rating of more than 10,000 pounds; or
  • has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds; or is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the commercial driver; or
  • is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the hazardous materials regulations.

Eligibility

Procedures

Types of testing required for commercial drivers:
Pre-Employment ~ Drugs Only
Post-Accident  ~  Drugs and Alcohol
Reasonable Suspicion ~ Drugs and/or Alcohol
Random Testing ~ Drugs and/or Alcohol
Return-to-Duty Testing  ~ Drugs and/or Alcohol
Follow-Up ~ Drugs and/or Alcohol


Pre-Employment Testing
The District will require a drug test for any final applicant for a commercial driver position or any employee that, as a result of expanded duties, must obtain a CDL.

Testing Procedures
The Driver's supervisor will coordinate with the SCO to arrange testing.

The driver will report to the testing site at the arranged time with the District Alcohol/Drug Testing Authorization Form, and a Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form for testing.

The Medical Review Officer (MRO) will advise the SCO of the test results.

The SCO will advise the supervisor of the test result.

The supervisor will advise the driver whether or not he or she will be hired or allowed to expand their current duties to include driving a CMV after receiving the results of the drug test.

Post-Accident Testing
The District will require an alcohol and drug test for any commercial driver operating a commercial vehicle that is directly involved in a serious accident which results in one or more of the following: 

  • a loss of human life; or
  • the employee receives a moving traffic citation arising from the accident; or
  • any person receives an injury which requires medical treatment beyond first aid; or
  • there is damage to a vehicle, which causes it to be inoperable.

Post accident testing must be accomplished according to the following schedule:

  • Alcohol tests must be administered within two hours of the accident, but we should continue to try and administer a test for up to eight hours.
  • Drug tests must be administered within 32 hours.

Testing Procedures

A commercial driver will immediately notify their supervisor of any accident involving a commercial motor vehicle.

The supervisor will:

  • immediately contact the SCO by phone.
  • complete the Post-Accident Determination Checklist for Commercial Drivers with the SCO.
  • document when you spoke with the SCO on the checklist.
  • forward the Post-Accident Determination Checklist for Commercial Drivers to the SCO within 24 hours.
  • remind commercial drivers that are subject to alcohol and drug testing that they must remain readily available for such testing after an accident. Failure to do this will be treated as a refusal to test. In addition, any commercial driver subject to a post-accident test must not consume alcohol for eight hours after the accident or until after an alcohol test is administered.
    Note: Supervisors should carry a District Alcohol/Drug Testing Authorization Form, Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form, and a Post-Accident Determination Checklist for Commercial Drivers to facilitate timely testing of drivers who have accidents.

The SCO will:

  • discuss the circumstances of the accident by phone with the supervisor.
  • determine if the circumstances meet the criteria found in the Post-Accident Determination Checklist for Commercial Drivers.
  • give verbal approval to the supervisor to test the driver.
    Note: Alcohol tests must be administered within two hours of the accident, but continue to try and administer the test for up to eight hours. If the two-hour or eight-hour deadline is not met, the reason for the delay must be documented. No alcohol test will be administered after eight hours has passed. Drug tests must be administered within 32 hours of the accident. It is advisable to administer the drug and alcohol test at the same time. If the deadline is not met, the reason for the delay must be documented. No drug test shall be administered after 32 hours have passed.

Alcohol Tests

The supervisor will:

  • transport the driver to the collection site and wait for the results of the alcohol test.

If the alcohol test result is .02 percent or greater, but less than .04 percent the supervisor will:

  • tell the driver that he/she will have to take sick leave, vacation leave or leave without pay (if no sick or vacation leave is accrued) for the rest of the day, but to report to work the next workday as usual.
  • make every effort to ensure that the driver does not drive home.
  • notify the SCO of the test result and actions you took.

If an alcohol test is .04 percent or greater the supervisor will:

  • tell the driver that he/she will have to take sick leave, vacation leave or leave without pay (if no sick or vacation leave is accrued) for the rest of the day, but to report to work the next workday as usual.
  • make every effort to ensure that the driver does not drive home.
  • notify the SCO of the test result and actions you took.
  • mandatorily refer the driver when he or she reports to work the next workday. Drivers will be removed from driving duties until they have successfully passed their return-to-duty alcohol test.

Drug Tests

The MRO will advise the SCO of drug test results by phone.

The SCO will advise the driver's supervisor of the test result.

The supervisor will:

  • notify the driver if the drug test is positive.
  • immediately remove the driver from driving duties until he or she passes a return-to-duty test and provides a fitness-for-duty letter.
  • make a mandatory referral.

Federal regulations require documentation of any accident that fits the criteria for a post-accident test. This includes documentation on all tests administered as well as tests that should have been administered but were not due to extenuating circumstances.

Randum Testing
All commercial drivers for the district will be randomly tested for alcohol and drugs following federal regulatory guidelines at the discretion of the SCO.

The SCO will notify the supervisor of:

  • the date of the test when possible the SCO will work with the supervisor to pick a date least disruptive to the department without informing the employee of the test.
  • the names of the drivers subject to testing. Drivers will be sent to a collection site as soon as they report to work.
  • whether the tests will be for drugs or alcohol and drugs.
  • the collection site location.

Notification of the supervisor will take place at least the afternoon before the test date.

The supervisor will notify the driver(s):

  • that he or she will be tested that day and document the notification.
  • whether the tests will be for drugs or alcohol and drugs.
  • the collection site location.
  • that they must take picture identification to the collection site.
  • The driver will report directly to the collection site.  Drivers must go for testing as soon as they are notified.  The driver has two hours to report to the collection site.  

The SCO will:

  • fax the authorization form to the collection site.
     
  • verify that all drivers are tested.
  • note the reason a driver on the list is not tested and initial.

The Breath Alcohol Technician will immediately notify the supervisor and SCO of alcohol test results.

Alcohol Tests

If the alcohol test result is .02 percent or greater, but less than .04 percent the supervisor will:

  • tell the driver that he/she will have to take sick leave, vacation leave or leave without pay (if no sick or vacation leave is accrued) for the rest of the day, but to report to work the next workday as usual.
  • make every effort to ensure that the driver does not drive home.
  • notify the SCO of the test result and actions you took.

If an alcohol test is .04% or greater the supervisor will:tell the driver that he/she will have to take sick leave, vacation leave or leave without pay (if no sick or vacation leave is accrued) for the rest of the day, but to report to work the next workday as usual.

  • make every effort to ensure that the driver does not drive home.
  • notify the SCO of the test result and actions you took.
  • mandatorily refer the driver when he or she reports to work the next workday. Drivers will be removed from driving duties until they have successfully passed their return-to-duty alcohol test.

Drug Tests

The MRO will advise the SCO of drug test results by phone.

The SCO will advise the driver's supervisor of the test result.

The supervisor will:

  • notify the driver if the drug test is positive.
  • immediately remove the driver from driving duties until he or she passes a return-to-duty test and provides a fitness-for-duty letter.
  • make a mandatory referral.

Discussions with employees and his or her supervisor about random test results must be done privately. It is inappropriate for anyone to discuss test results with a group. This is a serious breach of confidentiality and in some situations could result in disciplinary actions being taken against the employee who shared the information.


Return-To-Duty Testing
Drivers will undergo a return-to-duty alcohol and/or drug test when directed by the EAP, prior to returning to driving. The driver must have an alcohol test result of less than .02 percent and/or a drug test with a verified negative result. The procedures for this are outlined below.

The EAP will:

  • determine when a driver should be tested.
  • determine whether the driver will be tested for alcohol, drugs, or both.
  • contact the SCO to let them know when a driver should be sent for testing.
The SCO will tell the driver's supervisor:
  • the driver's name.
  • what the driver will be tested for.
  • where to send the driver for the test(s).Note: Drivers will go to the collection site on the day the request for the return-to-duty test is made. If this is not possible, the driver must go to the collection site the next work day.

The supervisor will tell the driver:

  • that he or she is being sent for a return-to-duty test.
  • what he or she will be tested for.
  • where he or she should go for the test(s).

The MRO will call the SCO to give return-to-duty test results.

The SCO will advise the EAP of alcohol and/or drug test results.

The EAP will start the process for fitness-for-duty letters.


Follow-Up Testing
Drivers will undergo follow-up testing for a period of up to 60 months following their return to duty. At a minimum, this will consist of 6 tests in the first 12 months following the driver's return to duty. The procedures for this are outlined below.

The EAP will:

  • have the driver consent, in writing to the testing.
  • set up the testing schedule.
  • determine whether the driver will be tested for alcohol, drugs, or both. Note: The number and frequency of follow-up testing shall be as directed by the EAP staff following the driver's return to duty.

The SCO will determine the specific dates for follow-up testing in accordance with the EAP's follow-up testing schedule.

The SCO will tell the driver's supervisor:

  • the driver's name.
  • when the driver will be tested. (Drivers must go for testing as soon as they are notified.)
  • what the driver will be tested for.
  • where the driver should go for the test(s).Note: If a driver is absent the day of the test, the supervisor will notify the SCO. The SCO will select another test date for the driver.

Supervisors will be notified of this information the afternoon before the driver will be tested.

The supervisor will tell the driver:

  • that he or she is being sent for a follow-up test.
  • what he or she will be tested for.
  • where he or she should go for the test(s).

The MRO will call the SCO to give follow-up test results.

The SCO will advise the EAP of alcohol and/ or drug test results.

Reasonable Suspicion Testing
Drivers will undergo reasonable suspicion testing if based on evidence and/or a reasonable belief by a supervisor that has been trained in the detection of alcohol and illegal drug use, that the commercial driver has used alcohol or illegal drugs. The belief must be based on specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the appearance, behavior, speech, body odors, or performance indicators of the driver.

Making a reasonable suspicion determination also requires some evidence of probable linkage between behavior or events and alcohol or illegal drug use on the job or the performance of duties under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. The supervisor must show that there are objective facts pointing to alcohol or drug affected behavior which causes a work related problem. Reasonable cause testing will not be conducted unless the supervisor documents work performance problems or physical or behavioral indicators of alcohol or drug use. The SCO must authorize any reasonable suspicion test. The procedures for this are outlined below.

The supervisor will:

  • observe the driver's behavior. Determine if there is reason to believe the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • discuss his or her observations with the driver to determine if there is a reasonable explanation for their behavior. (See section on Confronting the Driver at the end of this section.)
  • immediately contact the SCO by phone if you think a driver is working under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • document when you spoke with the SCO.

The SCO will:

  • discuss with the supervisor the driver's behavior and the information from the discussion between the supervisor and the driver concerning his or her behavior.
  • determine if there is enough justification to test the driver based on information gathered by the supervisor.
  • determine if the driver should be tested for alcohol, drugs, or both.
  • document when verbal approval is given for a reasonable suspicion test.

Alcohol Tests

The supervisor will:

  • transport the driver to the collection site and wait for the results of the alcohol test.
If the alcohol test result is .02 percent or greater, but less than .04 percent the supervisor will:
  • tell the driver that he/she will have to take sick leave, vacation leave or leave without pay (if no sick or vacation leave is accrued) for the rest of the day, but to report to work the next workday as usual.
  • make every effort to ensure that the driver does not drive home.
  • notify the SCO of the test result and actions you took.

If an alcohol test is .04 percent or greater the supervisor will:

  • tell the driver that he/she will have to take sick leave, vacation leave or leave without pay (if no sick or vacation leave is accrued) for the rest of the day, but to report to work the next workday as usual.
  • make every effort to ensure that the driver does not drive home.
  • notify the SCO of the test result and actions you took.
  • mandatorily refer the driver when he or she reports to work the next workday. Drivers will be removed from driving duties until they have successfully passed their return-to-duty alcohol test.
Drug Tests

The MRO will advise the SCO of drug test results by phone.

The SCO will advise the driver's supervisor of the test result.

The supervisor will:

  • notify the driver if the drug test is positive.
  • immediately remove the driver from driving duties until he or she passes a return-to-duty test and provides a fitness-for-duty letter.
  • make a mandatory referral.

Confronting the Driver

If a supervisor observes the presence of physical or behavioral signs and symptoms of alcohol or drug use, the supervisor should:

  • talk to the driver in an attempt to discover non-impairment related reasons for the behavior, symptom, or event. For example, poor coordination may be caused from a lack of sleep. A believable explanation may eliminate the suspicion of alcohol or drug use.
  • tell the driver of the observations and facts which formed the basis of the conclusion that the driver is using alcohol or illegal drugs on the job or working under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs.
  • ask the driver for an explanation of the signs and symptoms.
  • If a driver admits to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs and has visible physical or behavioral signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol use, then test the driver for reasonable suspicion.
  • If the driver voluntarily admits to having a drug or alcohol problem, it is mandatory to refer driver to EAP.

  • If the driver's response does not eliminate the suspicion of alcohol or illegal drug use, the supervisor should warn the employee that if it is subsequently discovered that the employee is working under the influence, he or she will be subject to a reasonable suspicion test and/or mandatory to the EAP. The supervisor should also consult with the EAP.

Mandatory Referrals
It is mandatory for Drivers, engage in actions prohibited by federal regulations, to refer to Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

The procedures for making a mandatory referral are described below.

The Substance Control Officer (SCO) will:

  • meet with the supervisor and the driver and give him or her a copy of the Mandatory
  • Referral Letter signed by the driver and supervisor and will:
  • advise the driver that he or she must comply with the mandatory referral and any recommendations made by the EAP counselor. In addition, the driver must pass a return-to-duty test, provide a fitness-for-duty letter, pass all required follow-up tests and successfully complete the treatment program, including aftercare.
  • advise the driver that if he or she fails to do any of these things, he or she will be will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
  • call the EAP. Tell the counselor that you are making a mandatory referral and provide any information requested.
  • have the employee talk to the EAP counselor in private. An initial appointment will be scheduled at this time.
  • retain a copy of all documentation in a confidential file.

The EAP will:

  • evaluate the driver to determine the extent of the dependence on alcohol or drugs.
  • refer the driver to the program that best meets the need of the driver in a most cost-effective manner. Whenever possible the EAP counselor will refer the driver to a program that is covered by the drivers insurance.
  • refer the driver for a fitness-for-duty letter after receiving the results of the driver's return-to-duty test. The SCO will notify the EAP of the results.

The EAP will notify the SCO:

  • the date the driver begins treatment.
  • whether or not the driver is complying with the prescribed treatment program.
  • the date the driver begins aftercare.
  • the date the driver should be sent for a return-to-duty test.
  • the date the EAP coordinates the fitness-for-duty letter.
  • the frequency schedule for follow-up testing.
  • the date the driver completes all treatment requirements, including aftercare.

The EAP will ensure that successful completion of treatment, including aftercare, is certified in writing to the SCO.

The SCO will coordinate with the EAP, as needed, to ensure that supervisors are aware of the driver's compliance with the mandatory referral.

Failure to Successfully Complete Treatment

Employee who are mandatorily referred to the EAP will be subject to disciplinary action from the district if they fail to report to the EAP or fail to successfully complete treatment.

Recurrence of Substance Abuse after Successful Completion of Treatment

If a driver violates any of the prohibitions listed a second time, he or she will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Disciplinary Actions

A commercial driver will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination if:

  • he or she refuses to take a required alcohol or drug test.
  • he or she fails to comply with a mandatory referral or to successfully complete treatment, including aftercare.
  • he or she fails a return-to-duty test.
  • he or she fails a follow-up test while in treatment.

Employee Responsibility

HR Responsibility

Exceptions To Policy

Other Notes

Related Links

CDL Agreement Letter (PDF - 15KB)