DOT Changes - Effective October 1, 2010

Submitted on Sep 15, 2010

DOT has recently published the Final Rule on changes to the Federal Drug and Alcohol testing regulations. Below is a summary of the Final Rule. Please note that these rules are effective October 1, 2010. Attached with this update is an update for your drivers / safety sensitive employees. We suggest posting a notice to inform your employees as soon as possible.  

We are currently working on an updated DOT and Non-DOT policy that will cover these changes. We will contact you as soon as the updated policies are available. If you have any chain of custody forms please note these forms are still valid for another year. DOT has extended the use of the current form until September 30, 2011 to deplete current stocks before the use of the new form. Please do not dispose of anything. We will take care of all requirements. We have also put together a handout that can be given or posted for your employees that goes over the important parts pertaining to them. Please contact us for a copy if you have not received one yet.

As a result of the changes we are advising a “refresher” course for ALL those trained under the DOT required reasonable suspicion course or “Supervisor Training” class. The class will cover all new regulations, training on observance for reasonable suspicion of MDMA (ecstasy), and any new program updates. Just as a reminder we recommend that the class be taken every two years. Classes are the second Thursday of every month. For a current class schedule please contact our office. If you have a large number of supervisors for training and would like an on-site course please contact our office at 760-244-6886.

If you have any questions or need any further information on anything please contact our office at 760-244-6886.

The following is a summary of the Final 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 prequalification 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.

8)  Federal Chain of Custody and Control Forms will now include the mode being tested on the form. Other minor changes and layout changes on the form will take place as well to accommodate this information. Current forms can be used until September 30, 2011.

9)  The Final Rule is effective October 1, 2010