Department of Transportation Updates Guidance on Drug Testing Programs

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance advises the Secretary of Transportation on national and international drug testing and control issues and is the principal advisor to the Secretary on rules related to the drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees in aviation, trucking, railroads, mass transit, pipelines, and other transportation industries. The Office publishes regulations and provides official interpretations on drug and alcohol testing, including how to conduct tests, and the evaluation and treatment procedures necessary for returning employees to duty after testing violations.  

Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, with the Office of General Counsel, issued new guidance governing the collection process for substance abuse testing. 

A new “Q & A” for 49 CFR Part 40, which took effect this Monday, July 14, discusses the following issues:

*When may a collector give an employee permission to leave a collection site?

*What happens if an employee leaves the collection site before the testing process is complete?

Also, earlier this month, the DOT issued a revised version of its Urine Specimen Collector Guidelines. (The Guidelines’ last update was on October 1, 2010.) A large number of the revisions are small. The more substantive changes are in italics in the new Guidelines.

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