Federal agencies Drugs Transportation Transportation

DOT goes ‘Back to Basics’ for drug and alcohol testing agents


Photo: JulieanneBirch/iStockphoto

Washington — The Department of Transportation has created reminders that highlight common issues service agents encounter during the drug and alcohol testing process.

DOT says the “Back to Basics” series, a product of its Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, is aimed at ensuring the integrity and fairness of the testing process.

“This is not a checklist for service agents, but a reminder that their role is very important and crucial,” DOT says. “We want to remind service agents to ‘Do it right the first time, and every time.’”

To date, the series has highlighted the role of urine collectors, medical review officers and substance abuse professionals.

In the most recent addition to the series, ODAPC reminds substance abuse professionals that their decisions and actions can have a direct impact on transportation safety. They serve as a “gatekeeper” in the return-to-duty process and often recommend a course of education and/or treatment that’s unique to each worker.

Medical review officers, meanwhile, help ensure the accuracy and integrity of the testing process, strengthening the validity of the DOT drug testing program. This in turn leads to its continued acceptance by regulated employers and their safety-sensitive employees, the agency says.

ODAPC reminds urine collectors to ensure each step of the process is done correctly. This includes making sure the collection site is secure, checking a worker’s photo ID, explaining the process and making sure that employees don’t use any means to try to skirt drug detection.

To subscribe for updates on the “Back to Basic” series, log onto DOT’s website.

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