DOT Drug/Alcohol Testing Developments

Resources for FTA and DOT Regulatory Changes and Guidance

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 19:41

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) offer helpful and timely (and FREE!) materials for ensuring your FTA-mandated drug and alcohol testing policy and program is kept up to date with all regulatory changes and interpretations.

Sign up for the FTA Drug and Alcohol Regulation Updates here. To review past newsletter issues, click here.

Sign up for the DOT Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing email updates here.

Here is just a sampling of what is covered in these updates:

  • Drug and alcohol testing regulatory updates, not only for the FTA and DOT, but also for the DOT’s other agencies: FMCSA, FAA, FRA, PHMSA, and USCG
  • Drug and alcohol conference updates
  • Proper use of testing forms and equipment
  • Record maintenance
  • Audit guidance
  • Contractor oversight
  • Service agent requirements

If your organization needs help with developing its FTA or FMCSA-mandated testing policy, be sure to check out the FTA’s Policy Builder tool.

After 20 years of studying and working with these regulations in the transit industry, I can probably also offer your organization some helpful guidance in this area. ­čśë

FTA/FMCSA Policy Builder!

Thursday, March 1, 2018 19:21

Where has this tool been for the past 20 years?!

This fabulous tool offered by the FTA will build out your FTA-mandated drug and alcohol testing policy for you. That means, follow their instructions to the tee and you are practically guaranteed to have a policy that meets the strict requirements of the federal government.

The Policy Builder has been updated to include the January 1, 2018 changes to the DOT testing regulations.

That’s not all! Have FMCSA-regulated employees also? There is a policy builder for you too.

Click here to get started. If you run into any (non-technical) glitches or have any questions, contact Connie Whitesell of PW Associates: or 312/919-6620.

Keeping DOT Regs Relevant! Jan. 1, 2018 Updates to Regulations

Friday, December 15, 2017 17:00

On November 13, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule updating several sections of its drug and alcohol testing regulations, 49 CFR Part 40. These updates go into effect January 1, 2018.

Included in these changes are the following:

Opioids added to DOT drug testing panel

While five categories of drugs (marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine, and opiates) remain under the drug test panel, four semi-synthetic opioids have been added: hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphine. Additionally methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) has been removed from testing.

For employers with policies that specify the categories of tested drugs, the word “opiates” should be changed to “opioids”. In addition, if the policy describes the specific drugs covered by the five drug categories and/or includes the laboratory test cutoff levels, this section must be updated to reflect 40.87 amendments.

MRO verification process

Section 40.135(e) was amended to give employees the opportunity to work with the MRO and their prescribing physician to change medication prior to the MRO reporting the employee poses a significant safety risk. Employees have five days to have their prescribing physician contact the MRO to discuss an alternative treatment.

Revised Federally-Regulated Drug Testing Custody and Control Form

The revised CCF includes the following changes:

In Step ID: Removal of the checkbox, the letters “DOT” and hash line in front of the text “Specify DOT Agency”.

In Step 5A: The addition of the four new opioids and removal of MDEA.

The new form may be used effective January 1, 2018 and must be used after June 30, 2018. If an “old” CCF is used after June 30, 2018, a “memorandum for the record” must be completed.

Removal of blind specimens

DOT has removed the blind specimen testing requirement for certain DOT-regulated employers.

The above information covers the changes most relevant to employers. For all of the changes, please see the final rule here.




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