Stronger Requirements for Drug/Alcohol Testing Proposed by Transportation Secretary

Jan. 1, 2000
United States Transportation Secretary Rodney E Slater has proposed requirements for strengthening the drug and alcohol testing program to prevent affected

United States Transportation Secretary Rodney E Slater has proposed requirements for strengthening the drug and alcohol testing program to prevent affected transportation workers from circumventing the testing process. The proposal is part of a rulemaking update to drug and alcohol testing regulations first issued 10 years ago.

The proposal would change how laboratories and medical review officers (MRO) handle adulterated and substituted specimens. An increase has occurred in the number of specimens submitted that are adulterated or substituted in attempts to circumvent testing. DOT has proposed that laboratories test all specimens for adulterants and for attempts of substitution. Specimens that are tampered with are reported to the employer as a refusal to test.

DOT is proposing a process by which third parties are held accountable for providing appropriate service in support or the employers' drug and alcohol programs. The NPRM establishes a Public Interest Exclusion procedure to prohibit employers from using, for DOT-required testing, service agents who do not provide appropriate service and refuse to correct problems.

The department is proposing relevant training for individuals involved throughout the testing process to ensure they understand DOT rules and procedures.

DOT also is proposing a procedure to permit confirmed positive test results to be reported by the MRO to all DOT-regulated employers for whom the employee currently works, not just to the employer who ordered the test. The NPRM calls for limitations on the sharing of this information and limits it to those employers for whom the MRO performs the review functions.

The department is providing a comment period of 120 days beginning Dec 9, 1999, and is planning to hold three public listening sessions within about 90 days from that date.

Copies of the NPRM may be obtained from the Internet at; by phoning the fax-on-demand phone line, (800-225-3784) and requesting Document 151; by contacting DOT, Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, 400 Seventh St SW, Room 10403, Washington DC 20590; or by phoning 202-366-3784.

Comments should be sent by April 7, 2000, to the DOT Docket Facility, Docket #OST 99-6578, 400 Seventh St SW, Washington DC 20590. They also may be submitted to the docket by e-mail by accessing and clicking on "Submit."

About the Author

The Refrigerated Transporter Staff

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