DOT Proposes to Amend the Transportation Industry Drug Testing Program

Posted: March 01, 2022

Breaking news! The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed to amend the transportation industry drug testing program’s procedures to include oral fluid testing. The reasoning behind the proposal is that oral fluid collection will help combat the employee cheating that occurs with urine tests since a fluid test is given in person by swabbing the applicant’s cheek.

The solution would also provide “a more economical, less intrusive means of achieving the safety goals of the program.” The proposal includes other provisions to update the Department’s regulation, and to “harmonize, as needed, with the new Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Oral Fluid established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

The proposal outlines the following guidelines (taken directly from the “Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs: Addition of Oral Fluid Specimen Testing for Drugs”).

  1. Permit Oral Fluid testing as an alternative drug testing method for DOT-regulated workplace testing,
  2. Harmonize, as needed, with the new Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
  3. Allow direct observation urine collections by any licensed or certified medical professional legally authorized to take part in a medical examination in the jurisdiction where the collection takes place,
  4. Allow MRO staff to contact pharmacies to verify a prescription that an employee provided,
  5. ‘Un-cancel’ a test that was ‘cancelled’ by the MRO if circumstances dictate,
  6. Allow the use of options of official identification numbers issued by State or Federal authorities to be used instead of Social Security Numbers,
  7. Laboratories provide to DOT bi-annually data that is categorized by test reason and specimen type,
  8. Laboratories withdrawing from the National Laboratory Certification Program provide DOT with the final data report for the reporting period in which they withdrew,
  9. Laboratories would be required to keep non-negative specimens for only 90 days,
  10. Require that the phone number provided on the Federal Drug Testing Custody Control Form for collectors connect directly to the collector and/or the collector’s supervisor and not a general call center,
  11. Remove provisions that no longer are necessary (such as compliance dates),
  12. Remove the ‘cross-reference’ sections found at the end of the ‘subpart’ sections,
  13. Add clarifying language to other provisions (such as updated definitions and web links where necessary), and
  14. Allow Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) to conduct evaluations virtually.

If you have questions about this new proposal or other questions regarding DOT drug testing, please contact Info Cubic at (877) 360-4636.

Read the Proposal