HomeGovernmentDOT Publishes Final Rule on Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

DOT Publishes Final Rule on Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

Effective Oct. 1, 2010, a new final rule governing alcohol and drug testing for commercial drivers includes guidance on the types of drugs tested as well as the procedures and protocols to be used.


The U.S. Department of Transportation, which published the rule on the Federal Register earlier this week, was required by the Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act to follow the Department of Health and Human Services requirements for the types of drugs tested for and the procedures used. Employers must now test for MDMA (a chemical found in the drug ecstasy), perform initial testing for heroin and lower the cutoff levels for cocaine and amphetamines.

Medical review officers (MRO), licensed physicians responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results for employer drug testing program, will now have to re-qualify for the position every five years and must take 12 hours of continuing education credit every three years. This provision was contested by the school bus industry, headed by NSTA, which argued that many school districts or school bus companies now have fewer options available to them in certifying drivers.

Donnie Fowler, president of NSTA and owner of Fowler Bus Company in Richmond, Mo., said this can be especially troublesome for more rural operations, where the number of physicians available have decreased over the years due to rising medical costs. The new eligibility provision, he added, potentially further depletes that pool.





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