How to Return to Duty after committing a DOT Drug/ AlcoholViolation under 49 CFR part 40.

September 28, 2020 5:35 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There are six DOT Operating Administrations

DOT AgencyRegulationIndustry
FMCSA- Agency-Federal Motor Carriers – Safety Administration49 CFR Part 382Motor Carrier
FAA- Federal Aviation Administration14 CFR Part 120Air Carriers or operators, and certain contract air traffic control towers.
FRA- Federal Railroad Administration49 CFR Part 219Rail
FTA- Federal Transit Administration49 CFR Part 655Public Transportation
PHMSA- Pipeline and Hazardous – Materials Safety Administration49 CFR Part 199Operators of pipeline facilities and contractors performing Covered functions for the Operator.
USCG- US Coast Guard (Department of Homeland Security)46 CFR Parts 4 and 16Maritime

Every day, men and women make unfortunate mistakes that put their commercial driving careers, or other safety sensitive duties at risk. Maybe they fail or refuseone of the six federal drug/alcohol tests. Perhaps the employer gains knowledge that their CDL driver has consumed alcohol less than four hours before a shift starts or has used a Schedule 1 substance like marijuana or ecstasy.

Whatever the case may be, if your employer determines that you have used any substance that has compromised your ability to operate your vehicle safely, then you will need to take steps to ensure that you can get back on track. This may involve SAP assessment in Yakima, WA.

The SAP list

Once your employer determines that you’ve committed a substance- or alcohol-based infraction, they’re legally required to provide you with a list of approved substance abuse professionals (SAPs) capable of providing the proper treatment to restore your credentials. This isn’t a guarantee that your carrier will retain your services, only that they must provide you with some way to get right with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

Until you complete the necessary SAP assessment in Yakima, WA, you won’t be allowed to resume safety-sensitive functions of any kind for any company.

The face-to-face

The first step in the treatment process is to have a meeting with a qualified SAP. When you discuss your incident and your issues with the SAP, they will perform an in person in depth evaluation regarding your drug and alcohol use and the extent of it to determine the best method of treatment for your specific case. The form of treatment could range from drug and alcohol education up to and including substance use disorder treatment. The treatment may consist of an intensive inpatient treatment to intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), or a relapse prevention treatment program. It could also include other services the person may need such as a mental health, anger management evaluation, etc.

Once the initial course of treatment has been completed, then you’ll have another in-person meeting called the Follow up assessment with your SAP, where they will assess how effective the regimen has been.

Meet the DER

Once the SAP has given you the go-ahead, your results will be handed off to a designated employer representative (DER). Once they’re satisfied with the results, the DER is charged with carrying out the SAPs continuing treatment suggestions. Sometimes that includes education or continued counseling. In a case such as a CDL driver, they will be required to submit a Return to Duty drug/alcohol test prior to resuming safety sensitive duties. They will also be involved in a SAP Follow-up Drug/alcohol testing program.

Under the Federal law, the driver or other safety sensitive employee will have a minimum of six Follow-up tests within the first twelve months of performing safety sensitive duties, there may be more than six, and the Follow-up testing may last up to 60 months. All SAP Follow-up testing will be unannounced, and unpredictable. The Return to Duty and Follow-up testing will be performed under direct observation. A negative Return to Duty drug/alcohol test is required prior to resuming safety sensitive duties.

Get the help you need

When you require qualified, sympathetic SAP and DOT assessments in Yakima, WA, reach out to Apple Valley Counseling Services LLC. We can help you through the treatment process with support and counseling services for both men and women. Once you’ve completed your official treatment program, we can help keep you on the right path with continued counseling services. You don’t have to watch your career dry up. Apple Valley Counseling Services can help—call us today to learn more.

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