Several questions reqarding DOT regulations for drug and alcohol testing that we get often include:
- How do I get back to Work After a DOT Positive Drug Test?
- How long will the SAP process take?
- Does a positive DOT drug test effect my CDL license?
- Do I have to fire a driver who tests positive?
How do I get back to Work After a DOT Positive Drug Test?
When you fail a DOT drug test with a positive result, you must be removed from your DOT safety sensitive position. You cannot enter back into any DOT safety sensitive position until you complete a return to duty process with a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). The process with the SAP must include an initial evaluation, education treatment and/or education and a follow-up evaluation. Before returning to a DOT safety sensitive position, a return to duty drug a test will be required and this is under direct observation.
How long will the SAP process take?
This is up to the SAP in evaluating your potential substance abuse issue. It could take days, weeks or months and no way to speed this process up. Individuals progress through drug addiction treatment at various rates, so there is no predetermined length of treatment. The treatment could include meetings, residential or outpatient visits. You must follow the plan of education and/or treatment as prescribed by the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).
Does a positive DOT drug test effect my CDL license?
Other then being removed from the DOT safety sensitive position as a driver, your CDL license is not affected. However, your positive test is recorded in the FMCSA Clearinghouse and you will not be able to operate again in a DOT safety sensitive position until you complete the required return to duty process with the SAP.
Do I have to fire a driver who tests positive?
When there is a positive DOT test, the DOT requires the employer to remove the employee from the DOT safety sensitive position. There is no requirement to fire the driver. However, many times the employer policy is immediate termination. The employer may not have anything else for this driver to do so termination might be the only option. Some employers might allow a second chance agreement. Any DOT covered employee must be subject to follow-up testing when resuming DOT duties after completing the SAP return to duty process. The SAP prescribes the number and frequency of the follow-up testing.
What is a SAP?
A SAP is a licensed individual that evaluates an applicant or employee who tests positive on a DOT drug or alcohol test. The SAP must be trained and qualified as per DOT requirements. The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.
How do I Find a SAP?
More on what happens when an employee tests positive – Click Here.