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Back to Index | Relevant Policy - 5.18 Drug and Alcohol Testing of Transportation Employees
5.18.P.1 Drug and Alcohol Testing of Transportation Employees
Circumstances  Under  Which  Tests  
for  Drivers  Are  to  Be  Given

All information obtained in the course of testing of drivers shall be protected as confidential medical information.  Except as required by law or expressly authorized or required in 49 CFR 382.405, no information that is to be maintained pursuant to 49 CFR 382.401 shall be released.

  • A minimum of fifty percent (50%) of drivers shall be tested annually for drugs and twenty-five percent (25%) of drivers shall be tested annually for alcohol, subject to the Federal Highway Administration's administrator raising or lowering the annual percentage rate in accordance with regulations.  [49 CFR 382.305]  Random testing selection shall be as follows:
    • Employees are to be placed in and remain in a pool for random selection.
    • A valid random selection procedure will be used.
    • Tests will be given at least once each quarter.
    • Dates of testing will not be announced.
    • Random drug and alcohol testing may be combined.  For example, when testing at fifty percent (50%) drug random rate and twenty-five percent (25%) alcohol random rate, half of the randomly selected drivers chosen for testing could be tested for both drugs and alcohol, while the rest could be tested only for drugs.


Drivers are required to submit to drug and alcohol testing as soon as possible following a "Department of Transportation (DOT) accident" that involves the loss of human life or for which the driver receives a citation under state or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident.  [49 CFR 382.303]
  • A DOT accident is defined as an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road that results in:
    • A fatality; or
    • Bodily injury to a person who, as a result of the injury, immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or
    • One (1) or more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage as a result of the accident, requiring the vehicle to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other vehicle.  [49 CFR 390.5]
  • If a driver is seriously injured and cannot submit to testing at the time of the accident, the driver shall provide the necessary authorization for obtaining hospital reports and other documents that may indicate whether there were any drugs or alcohol used by the driver prior to the accident.  [49 CFR 382.303]
  • A driver who is subject to postaccident testing shall remain readily available for such testing or may be deemed by the District to have refused to submit to testing.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the delay of necessary medical treatment or to prohibit the driver from leaving the scene of an accident for a period necessary to obtain assistance in responding to the accident, or to obtain necessary medical care.  [49 CFR 382.303]
  • No driver required to take a postaccident alcohol test shall use alcohol for eight (8) hours following the accident, or until the driver undergoes a postaccident alcohol test, whichever occurs first.  [49 CFR 382.303]
  • The following actions are to be taken in a postaccident testing situation:
    • Treat injuries.
    • Work with law enforcement officials.
    • Explain the need for testing.
    • Obtain the driver's permission for testing, if possible.
    • Work with the medical facility to obtain the necessary documents and test information.
    • Collect specimens promptly.
    • Document events.

The results of a breath or blood test for the use of alcohol or a urine test for the use of drugs conducted by federal, state, or local officials having independent authority for the test shall be considered to meet the requirements for postaccident testing if the results are obtained by the School District.  [49 CFR 382.305]

Reasonable suspicion:
  • Reasonable suspicion is defined to mean that the District believes the behavior, speech, body odor, or appearance of a driver while on duty are indicative of the use of alcohol and/or controlled substances.  The conduct must be witnessed by a supervisor or District official trained in the detection of probable alcohol and drug use by observing indicators in a person's appearance, behavior, speech, and performance, in accordance with 49 CFR 382.603.  If it is at all possible, the witness should not conduct the alcohol test, in order to prevent the introduction of bias to the testing procedure.
  • Alcohol testing is authorized only if the observations are made during, just before performing, or just after performing a safety-sensitive function.  A written record shall be made of the observations leading to an alcohol and/or controlled substance test.  This record is to be signed by the supervisor who made the observations.
  • If a reasonable suspicion alcohol test is not administered within two (2) hours following the observations, the witness shall prepare and maintain on file a record stating the reasons the alcohol test was not administered promptly.  In addition, if not administered within eight (8) hours, all attempts to administer the test shall cease.  A record shall be prepared and maintained stating why the alcohol test was not administered.  [49 CFR 382.307]
  • Reasonable suspicion testing should include the following considerations:
    • Focus on safety.
    • Verify reasonable suspicion if possible.
    • Observe the employee's appearance, behavior, speech, and performance.
    • Inform the employee in private of any suspicion.
    • Inquire in private about any observations or suspicions.
    • Review the findings.
    • Upon concluding that reasonable suspicion exists, transport the employee to a testing site.
    • Document events.

Return-to-duty testing:
  • A driver who has been prohibited from performing a safety-sensitive function after engaging in conduct regarding alcohol misuse or controlled substance use prohibited by U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, and before returning to duty, shall undergo a return-to-duty test, which must indicate a concentration of less then 0.02 for breath alcohol and/or a negative result for controlled substances.  [49 CFR 382.309 and 382.605(C)]
  • When a driver has been determined to be in need of assistance in resolving problems associated with alcohol misuse and/or controlled substance use, the driver will be subject to unannounced follow-up alcohol and/or controlled substance testing.  The driver will be subject to a minimum of six (6) follow-up tests in the first twelve (12) months.  The follow-up testing period shall not exceed sixty (60) months.  Follow-up testing for alcohol shall be administered only when the driver is performing, just before performing, or just after performing a safety-sensitive function.  [49 CFR 382.311 and 382.605(C)]

  • Each driver who engages in conduct prohibited by 49 CFR 382.201 et seq. shall be evaluated by a substance abuse professional, who shall determine what assistance, if any, the employee needs in resolving problems associated with alcohol misuse and controlled substance use.  [49 CFR 382.605]

Driver  Training

A copy of materials explaining the requirements of the Omnibus Act and the District's policies and procedures with respect to meeting such requirements will be distributed to each driver prior to the start of alcohol and controlled substance testing and to each driver hired or subsequently transferred into a driving position.  The District shall provide written notice to representatives of employee organizations of the availability of this information.  [49 CFR 382.601]

These materials shall include detailed discussions of at least the following:
  • The identity of the person designated to answer employee questions about the materials.
  • The categories of employees subject to this part of the regulation.
  • Sufficient information about safety-sensitive functions performed by such drivers to make clear what part of the work day a driver must be in compliance with the rule.
  • Specific information concerning driver conduct that is prohibited by the rule.
  • The circumstances under which a driver will be tested for alcohol and/or controlled substances by rule.
  • The procedures that will be used to test for the presence of alcohol and controlled substances, to protect the driver and the integrity of the testing processes, to safeguard the validity of the test results, and to ensure that the results are attributed to the correct driver.
  • The requirement that the employee submit to alcohol and controlled substance tests administered in accord with Omnibus Act regulations.
  • An explanation of what constitutes a refusal to submit to an alcohol or controlled substance test and the attendant consequences.
  • The consequences for drivers found to have violated the rule, including requirements for removal from duty.
  • Consequences for a driver having a concentration of 0.02 but less than 0.04 in a breath alcohol test.
  • Information concerning the effects of alcohol and controlled substance use on an individual's health, work, and personal life; signs and symptoms of an alcohol or controlled substance problem (the driver or a co-worker); and available methods of intervention, including confrontation and referral.  [49 CFR 382.601]

Policies, procedures, and consequences based on the District's independent authority outside of the Omnibus Act shall be presented and clearly and obviously described as being based on independent authority [49 CFR 382.601].  All such references shall be placed in bold within the document and shall contain applicable statutory citations.

Each driver must provide a signed receipt for the materials.  [49 CFR 382.401(c)(5)(iii)].  Written notice of the availability of this information shall be provided to representatives of employee organizations.  [49 CFR 382.601(a)(2)]

Supervisor  Training

Persons designated to determine whether reasonable suspicion exists to require a driver to undergo reasonable-suspicion testing shall receive at least sixty (60) minutes of training on alcohol misuse and at least an additional sixty (60) minutes of training on controlled substance use.  The training shall cover the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances.  [49 CFR 382.603]