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Have Questions? We've Got Answers.

  • As an employee, how do I know if I am subject to DOT testing?
    Generally, DOT regulations cover safety-sensitive transportation employers and employees. Each DOT agency (e.g. FRA, FMCSA, FTA, FAA, and PHMSA) and the USCG have specific drug and alcohol testing regulations that outline who is subject to their testing regulations. Also, you may want to try our "Am I Covered?" decision tree. It will assist you in determining whether or not you are covered.
  • What is a DOT SAP Assessment?
    A DOT SAP Assessment is used to gather information. If you work in a safety sensitive career such as: Truck driver Bus driver Pilot Train conductor Heavy equipment operator Or any other job that is regulated by the DOT You are subject to random urine alcohol and drug testing. If you test positive you must stand down from that safety sensitive job until you have been cleared to return-to-duty by a SAP.
  • Can I be evaluated by someone who is not a SAP?
    No. An employer cannot accept recommendations from anyone who is not a qualified SAP. If you complete the Return-to-Duty with someone who is not a SAP, you will have to begin the process again with a qualified SAP.
  • How do I find a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) who is qualified to act in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol testing program?
    Employers must provide employees with a list of SAPs qualified under §40.281 (even if the employer fired you or did not hire you). The regulation [§40.287] requires the employer to provide the employee with a list of qualified SAPs. Failure to provide such a list could result in sanctions issued by the DOT Modal Administration with jurisdiction over you. A SAP qualified to act in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program must meet the SAP qualification requirements in §40.281. If your employer did not provide you with a list of qualified SAPs, below is a list of resources to help you find one: ·
  • What is a psycho-social?
    A full psycho-social is an interview to learn about your: Health Education Family Employment Lgal Mental health history The interview also includes an in-depth review of your experience with alcohol and/or drug use, in relation to the incident and in general.
  • What happens to me when I test positive or refuse to test (i.e. adulterate, or substitute my urine specimen, or decline to be tested)?
    When you test positive or refuse a test, you are not permitted to perform safety-sensitive duties for any DOT-regulated employer until you have seen a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and successfully completed the return-to-duty process, which includes a Federal return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol test. Working in a safety-sensitive position before successfully completing the return-to-duty process is a violation of the regulations.
  • Will I lose my job if I test positive or refuse a test?
    These decisions are solely the employer's, which may be based on company policy and/or any collective bargaining agreements. We recommend that you speak with your employer for clarification.
  • (For FMCSA drivers only) What is the FMCSA Clearinghouse?
    The FMCSA Clearinghouse is a national computerized database. Starting in 2020, all violations must be recorded on the Clearinghouse. A violation will remain on the Clearinghouse for at least 5 years, or until the driver has completed the SAP’s follow-up testing plan, whichever is later. All FMCSA employers are required to check an applicant’s record on the Clearinghouse. An employer cannot hire a driver/applicant until a SAP indicates that the driver has successfully complied with the SAP’s treatment recommendation.
  • How long will this process take?
    It depends on the treatment plan that your SAP proposes, and how well you comply with it. Typically, the process takes between a few weeks and a few months.
  • If I don't agree with the SAP's recommendation, can I get a second opinion from another SAP?
    No. You (or your employer) may believe the SAP’s recommendation is too tough. Or you may find that the recommendation is not covered by your insurance plan. The DOT rule is very clear about this: Once you have started an evaluation process with a SAP, you cannot seek the services of a different SAP. If you try to get a second opinion, you and your employer would be subject to DOT fines.
  • Who pays for the DOT drug or alcohol test or SAP recommended treatment/education, the employer or employee?
    The Department's regulations are silent on who is responsible for paying for the testing or SAP recommended treatment/education. Payment may be based an understanding between the employer and employee, including applicants for safety-sensitive positions.
  • Will my health insurance cover a SAP screening and or assessment?
    Always call your health insurance provider for clarification on covered services. That said, insurance providers usually do not cover the cost of screenings and or assessments.
  • What will this cost?
    Correctly carrying out the SAP process requires quite a bit of professional time and expertise on the part of the SAP. A SAP has considerable liability, since DOT considers the SAP to be ultimately responsible to the traveling public. Life Balance Begins Counseling LLC (LBBC) charges $500 for the SAP services we provide, payable before the first visit. This fee includes - The Initial Evaluation by a qualified SAP - Referral services to appropriate providers - Continuous monitoring of your progress - Reporting to your employer or DER (Designated Employer Representative) - Communicating with the MRO (Medical Review Officer) as needed - The Follow-Up Evaluation As part of the SAP process you will be referred to an education or treatment program. The fees for that provider’s services are not covered in the $500 fee paid to LBBC LLC.
  • What forms of payment are acceptable?
    Payment must be made in full, prior to an appointment, via debit or credit card.
  • What happens next?
    When your SAP conducts a clinical follow-up evaluation and determines that you have complied with the recommendations, your SAP will send a report of compliance to your employer. Your employer then can decide whether to arrange for you to take a return-to-duty test. (Depending on your employer’s written policy, your employer may also decide to terminate you, either before or after the return-to-duty test. Remember that in your employer’s eyes, you may still be a safety risk.) If your employer decides to take you back, and if you have a negative return-to-duty test, you will be subject to follow-up testing as required by your SAP. There must be at least 6 unannounced follow-up tests in the first year, but the SAP can require any number of tests, and the testing period can extend to five years.
  • Who pays for these follow-up tests?
    The decision regarding who pays for follow-up tests is up to your employer. Some employers pay for follow-up testing. But most employers require the employee to pay for all follow-up tests, as a consequence of having violated DOT’s rule. If it’s not specified in your employer’s written testing policy, you may want to ask about it.
  • How can I find out the follow-up testing schedule?
    DOT requires that the follow-up testing schedule (when, how often, and how many years) remain confidential. Neither the SAP nor your employer is permitted to share this testing plan with you. All the tests will be unannounced. Your employer is subject to fines for any tests that are not conducted.
  • What happens if I test positive on a follow-up test?
    If you test positive again, you must go through the entire return-to-duty process again. This includes removal from safety-sensitive functions and a complete SAP evaluation. The SAP will again recommend treatment and/or education. Many employers terminate an employee for a second violation. If you are terminated and you want to apply for a safety-sensitive job with another DOT employer, you must first complete the SAP return-to-duty process.
  • What is the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) and what information does it contain?
    The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that gives employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs), and State law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations. The Clearinghouse contains records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. When a driver completes the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, this information is also recorded in the Clearinghouse.
  • May drivers access their own information in the Clearinghouse?
    Yes. Once a driver has registered in the Clearinghouse, he or she will be able to access his or her Clearinghouse record electronically, at no cost. This record would include any drug and alcohol program violation information available in the Clearinghouse, along with the status of their return-to-duty (RTD) process, if applicable.
  • What are a Substance Abuse Professional’s (SAP’s) responsibilities for reporting information to the Clearinghouse?
    Per § 382.705(d), the SAP must report the following: - Date of initial SAP assessment. This must be reported by the close of the business day following the assessment. - Date the SAP determined the driver demonstrated successful compliance with education and treatment requirements and is eligible for return-to-duty (RTD) testing. This must be reported by the close of the business day following the determination.
Click Below to Contact a SAP Once You Have Reviewed the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Above and Have an Understanding of the SAP or OASAS Assessment/Screening Process and Your Responsibility to Complete ALL Requirements
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