DOT Drug/Alcohol Testing Developments

Revised DOT Testing Requirements

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 9:55

On August 16, 2010, DOT published a final rule which will be effective October 1, 2010. Below is a summary of the rule:

1) The Department is required by the Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act (Omnibus Act) to follow the HHS requirements for the testing procedures/protocols and drugs for which we test.

2) Primary laboratory requirements in this final rule include:

        – Testing for MDMA (aka. Ecstasy);

        – Lowering cutoff levels for cocaine and amphetamines;

        – Conducting mandatory initial testing for heroin;

3) The Department brought several testing definitions in-line with those of HHS.

4) Each Medical Review Officer (MRO) will need to be re-qualified – including passing an examination given by an MRO training organization – every five years. The Final Rule eliminated the requirement for each MRO to take 12 hours of continuing education every three years.

5) An MRO will not need to be trained by an HHS-approved MRO training organization as long as the MRO meets DOT’s qualification and requalification training requirements.

6) MRO recordkeeping requirements did not change from the five years for non-negatives and one year for negatives.

7) The Final Rule does not allow the use of HHS-Certified Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities (IITFs) to conduct initial drug testing because the Omnibus Act requires laboratories to be able to perform both initial and confirmation testing but IITFs cannot conduct confirmation testing.

You can find the full text of the new rule at:

Date Extended for Mandatory Use of New Alcohol Testing Form

Saturday, May 1, 2010 12:39

On May 11, 2010, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) proposing to extend the date for mandatory use of the recently updated Alcohol Testing Form (ATF) to January 1, 2011. After issuing its Final Rule mandating the use of the new ATF by August 1, 2010, the DOT learned that vendors and users of the ATF will not be able to deplete their current supply of ATFs by August. In an effort to be economically efficient and more environmentally “green”, the DOT issued the NPRM seeking additional comment. PW Associates will provide a status update on this matter once a final ruling has been published.

DOT Drug and Alcohol Program Final Rules

Thursday, March 4, 2010 11:00

On Thursday, February 25, 2010, the DOT published three Drug and Alcohol Program Final Rules:

  1. One rule adopts in total an Interim Final Rule authorizing employers to disclose to State commercial driver licensing (CDL) authorities the drug and alcohol violations of employees who hold CDLs and operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) when a State law requires such reporting. This rule also permits third-party administrators (TPAs) to provide the same information to State CDL licensing authorities where State law requires the TPAs to do so for owner-operator CMV drivers with CDLs. It represents no change to the DOT’s current regulations.

  2. A second rule updates two DOT forms – the U.S. DOT Alcohol Testing Form (ATF) and the Management Information System(MIS) Data Collection Form:

    1. While use of the new ATF is authorized immediately, its use is required by August 1, 2010. Revisions to the ATF include

      • Updated Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement;
      • New DOT form number;
      • Addition instructions on the reverse side of page3; and
      • Results box test is in a smaller font and has been moved.

    2. The new MIS form is authorized for use in 2011 to report calendar year 2010 MIS data. Revisions to the MIS form include:

      • Updated Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement;
      • New DOT form number; and
      • MIS instructions changed from “RSPA” to “PHMSA”.


  3. The third regulation adopts in total an earlier Interim Final Rule’s procedures for using an alcohol screening device. It represents no change to the DOT’s current regulations.

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