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Implementation Guidelines for Alcohol and Drug Regulations - Chapter 1


Section 1. Purpose and Scope of these Guidelines

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recognizes that controlled substances use and alcohol misuse affect everyone in the United States in one way or another. In response to passage of the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act

of 1991, the FMCSA has published regulations prohibiting controlled substances use and alcohol misuse and modified other current regulations. The current regulation is 49 CFR part 382, "Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing," which replaced 49 CFR part 391, subpart H, "Controlled Substances Testing." In addition, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued 49 CFR part 40, "Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs," which prescribes testing methods to be followed.

To assist employers (motor carriers) in implementing those regulations, the FMCSA has developed these guidelines. The ultimate goal for the FMCSA and the commercial motor vehicle (CMV)* industry is to achieve a controlled substance and alcohol-free work force in the interest of the health and safety of employers, employees, and the public.

These guidelines are the FMCSA's "small entity compliance guide" for purposes of the Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121, Title II, Subtitle A, March 29, 1996). Under this act, the content of this small entity compliance guide is not subject to judicial review but may be considered as evidence of the reasonableness or appropriateness of any proposed fines, penalties, or damages in an FMCSA civil or administrative action.

These guidelines are written as if an employer has no controlled substances and/or alcohol testing program already in place. They provide a logical sequence for implementing the various elements of a successful program and contain examples of documents, checklists, forms, and procedures that may be used by individual employers in formulating their programs. The following required elements of a controlled substances use and alcohol misuse program are discussed:

  • Policy and procedure development
  • Driver education and supervisor training
  • Urine specimen collection and testing
  • Breath and saliva sample collection and testing
  • Recordkeeping and reporting.

As an employer (motor carrier), you may go beyond these requirements to incorporate additional features (such as employee assistance programs) that are not mandated by FMCSA regulations. However, you must make clear that any features you add are not part of the FMCSA-mandated program and will be conducted under other applicable authority, not the FMCSA's. For example, if you test for controlled substances other than the five that the FMCSA specifies, you must make the employees aware that they are being tested for those additional controlled substances under your authority, not the FMCSA's. You must collect separate specimens for analysis, and you must not use the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form.

*Note: The term "Commercial Motor Vehicle" or "CMV" as used in this document is defined in the appendix of this chapter, page 1-22.

Employers Domiciled in the United States

For employers domiciled in the United States, the rules require testing to have begun by January 1, 1996.

If you begin your highway transportation operations after January 1, 1996, you must start your testing program on the day you begin transportation operations. The development of policies and procedures, including preemployment testing, must be completed prior to the date you begin transportation operations.

Employers Domiciled in Foreign Countries

For employers domiciled in foreign countries that operate in the United States, the rules require testing to have begun by July 1, 1997. If you began your highway transportation operations in the United States after July 1, 1997, you must start your testing program on the day you begin operations in the United States. The development of policies and procedures, including preemployment testing, must be completed prior to the day you begin operations in the United States.

Section 2. How to Use These Guidelines

These guidelines are a ready reference for those in the CMV industry that must formulate and implement programs to control substance abuse. They are organized by

subject, and each subject is addressed in the general order that it would be encountered in the actual formulation and implementation of a controlled substances use and alcohol misuse program.

Each major subject is discussed in a separate section. Sample documents, forms, terms and definitions, and checklists are provided in the appendix at the end of each chapter. These materials were designed to help employers meet the minimum regulatory requirements contained in 49 CFR parts 40 and 382.

These guidelines do not take precedence over or alter any requirement established under FMCSA or DOT regulations.

In certain cases, the information in this document goes beyond the regulatory minimum and covers additional aspects of a controlled substances use and alcohol misuse program that are considered helpful in developing a comprehensive program. It is the option of each employer to implement a program that goes beyond the regulatory minimum.

To assist you in differentiating between program elements required by regulation and optional suggestions for maximizing program effectiveness, certain key words are used throughout the text (see the box on next page).

Regulatory Text

Statements in this manual that refer toregulatory requirements contain the words "shall" or "must" (e.g., "A substance abuse management program shall include a policy statement"). Program elements notexplicitly required by regulations, but suggested as an integral part of successful implementation, are generally addressed using the word"should." Optional elements, or those program features that have several acceptable alternatives, are normally expressed by use of the word "may."

Section numbers from the regulations are also used to more clearly define regulatory requirements. For example, §382.103 means that this regulation is specifically mentioned in 49 CFR part 382, section 103; and, in a similar manner, §40.25 references 49 CFR part 40, section 25.

Section 3. Other Resources 

While every attempt has been made to make these guidelines as complete and self-supporting as possible, additional published material is available. Where appropriate, these additional resources are identified.

The appendix at the end of this chapter contains a list of sources of additional information that you may wish to acquire as you begin developing your controlled substances use and alcohol misuse program.

FMCSA division offices located throughout the United States are listed in the appendix for additional information. Division offices should be consulted for specific guidance applicable to an employer's program implementation and for any updates and amendments to the these regulations and guidance.

To access FMCSA or the DOT's Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance on the web, go to:

FMCSA does not maintain lists of trade associations, unions, or insurance companies, but these can be good sources of additional information.

If you want additional copies of these guidelines, you may reproduce as many copies as you need.

Sources of Additional Information and Other Published Documentation
Drug Testing Procedures Handbook
Urine Specimen Collection Procedures Guidelines
Substance Abuse Professional Procedures Guidelines
U.S. Dept. of Transportation
Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy 
and Compliance 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE 
Washington, DC 20590 
Phone (202) 366-DRUG
Fax On Demand: (800) 225-(DRUG)
Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention and the ADA: An Employer's GuideThe Institute for a Drug-Free 
East Tower Suite 1010 
1301 K Street, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20005 
Phone: (202) 842-7400 
Fax: (202) 842-0011 
Random Drug Testing ManualOffice of Safety & Security Federal Transit Administration 
400 Seventh Street, S.W. 
Room 6432 
Washington, DC 20590
Breath Alcohol Technician and Screening Test Technician Training Curricula (Teacher and Student Guide) 

Alcohol and Drug Testing Regulations 49 CFR parts 40 and 382
Order by Mail:
Superintendent of Documents 
P.O. Box 371954 
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954
Order by Telephone or Fax:
Phone: (202) 512-1800
Fax: (202) 512-2250
A central information and referral service for technical 
support, printed materials, audiovisuals, and 
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information P.O. Box 2345 Rockville, MD 20847-2345 (800) 729-6686 (outside Maryland and DC area) (301) 468-2600 (DC and Maryland)
Toll-Free Information LinesAlcoholics Anonymous ----- 
(800) 356-9996
American Council on Alcoholism 
Cocaine Hotline----- 
(800) COCAINE 
National Council on Alcoholism------
(800) NCA-CALL
National Institute on Drug Abuse 
Hotline--- (800) 662-HELP 
National Institute on Drug Abuse 
Helpline--- (800) 843-4971
Collection Sites, Consortia, Medical Review OfficersNational Association of Collection Sites 
(800) 355-1257 
Substance Abuse Program Administrators 
Association---- (615) 834-8288 
American Association of Medical Review 
Officers (919) 489-5407 
American College of Occupational &
Environmental Medicine, Medical Review 
Officer Certification Council 
(708) 228-6850 
American Society of Addiction Medicine 
(301) 656-3920 
Various Materials(Check local listings) 
• State and local governments 
• State and local truck & motor coach associations 
• State and local employee counseling programs

Map of the United States of America!

Eastern Service Center: CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, VA, VT, WV

802 Cromwell Park drive
Suite N
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
Phone: (443) 703-2240 
Fax: (443) 703-2253

Midwestern Service Center: IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, WI
19900 Governors Drive 
Suite 210 
Olympia Fields, IL 60461
Phone: (708) 283-3577
Fax: (708) 283-3579

Southern Service Center: AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, NM, OK, SC, TN, TX
1800 Century Boulevard, N.E. 
Suite 1700 
Atlanta, GA 30345-3220
Phone: (404) 327-7400 
Fax: (404) 327-7349

Western Service Center: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, ND, NV, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY
201 Mission Street 
Suite 2100 
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 744-3088 
Fax: (415) 744-2665 

FMCSA Division Offices

AlabamaMontgomery(334) 223-7244(334) 223-7700
AlaskaAnchorage(907) 271-4068(907) 271- 4069
ArizonaPhoenix(602) 379-6851(602) 379-3627
ArizonaDouglas(520) 364-6422(520) 364-6456
ArizonaNogales(520) 761-4419(520) 761-3093
ArizonaSan Luis(928) 627-1336(928) 627-1770
ArkansasLittle Rock(501) 324-5050(501) 324-6562
CaliforniaSacramento(916) 930-2760(916) 930-2278
CaliforniaCalexico(760) 768-7300(760) 768-6423
CaliforniaOntario(909) 937-2949(909) 390-5642
CaliforniaSan Diego(619) 710-8400(619) 710-2804
ColoradoDenver(303) 969-6748(303) 969 6741
ConnecticutGlastonbury(860) 659-6700(860) 659-6725
DelawareDover(302) 734-8173(302) 734-5380
District of ColumbiaWashington(202) 219-3553(202) 219-3546
FloridaTallahassee(850) 942-9338(850) 942-9680
GeorgiaAtlanta(404) 562-3620(404) 562-3704
HawaiiHonolulu(808) 541-2700(808) 541-2702
IdahoBoise(208) 334-1842(208) 334-1046
IllinoisSpringfield(217) 492-4608(217) 492-4986
IndianaIndianapolis(317) 226-7474(317) 226-5657
IowaAmes(515) 233-7400(515) 233-7494
KansasTopeka(913) 267-7288(913) 267-7290
KentuckyFrankfort(502) 223-6779(502) 223-6767
LouisianaBaton Rouge(225) 757-7640(225) 757-7636
MaineAugusta(207) 622-8358(207) 622-8477
MarylandBaltimore(410) 962-2889(410) 962-3916
MassachusettsCambridge(617) 494-2770(617) 494-2783
MichiganLansing(517) 377-1866(517) 377-1868
MinnesotaMinneapolis(651) 291-6150(651) 291-6001
MississippiJackson(601) 965-4219(601) 965-4674
MissouriJefferson City(573) 636-3246(573) 636-8901
MontanaHelena(406) 449-5304(406) 449-5318
NebraskaLincoln(402) 437-5986(402) 437-5146
NevadaCarson City(775) 687-5335(775) 687-3803
New HampshireConcord(603) 228-3112(603) 228-0390
New JerseyTrenton(609) 637-4222(609) 538-4913
New JerseyLittle Falls(973) 357-4134(973) 357-4099
New MexicoAlbuquerque(505) 346-7858(505) 346-7859
New YorkAlbany(518) 431-4145(518) 431-4140
New YorkBuffalo(716) 551-4701(716) 551-3312
New YorkNew York City(212) 668-2130(212) 668-2133
New YorkSyracuse(315) 448-0311(315) 448-0313
North CarolinaRaleigh(919) 856-4378(919) 856-4369
North DakotaBismarck(701) 250-4346(701) 250-4389
OhioColumbus(614) 280-5657(614) 280-6875
OklahomaOklahoma City(405) 605-6047(405) 605-6176
OregonSalem(503) 399-5775(503) 399-5838
PennsylvaniaHarrisburg(717) 221-4443(717) 221-4552
PennsylvaniaKing of Prussia(610) 992-8680(610) 992-8685
PennsylvaniaPittsburgh(412) 395-6935(412) 395-5078
PennsylvaniaScranton(570) 346-4949(570) 821-4080
Puerto RicoHato Rey(787) 766-5985(787) 766-5015
Rhode IslandProvidence(401) 431-6010(401) 431-6019
South CarolinaColumbia(803) 765-5414(803) 765-5413
South DakotaPierre(605) 224-8202(605) 224-1766
TennesseeNashville(615) 781-5781(615) 781-5755
TennesseeJackson(731) 424-9332(731) 424-0783
TexasAustin(512) 536-5980(512) 916-5980
TexasBrownsville(956) 541-5894(956) 982-0741
TexasEagle Pass(830) 757-6749(830) 757-9097
TexasEl Paso(915) 593-8574(915) 594-8857
TexasFort Worth(817) 978-3225(817) 978-4666
TexasLaredo(956) 712-1385(956) 723-1479
TexasMcAllen(956) 683-0181(956) 683-7280
TexasRoma(956) 847-7209(956) 847-7409
UtahSalt Lake City(801) 963-0096(801) 963-0096
VermontMontpelier(802) 828-4480(802) 828-4424
VirginiaRichmond(804) 771-8585(804) 771-8681
WashingtonOlympia(360) 753-9875(360) 753-9024
West VirginiaCharleston(304) 347-5935(304) 347-5617
WisconsinMadison(608) 829-7530(608) 829-7540
WyomingCheyenne(307) 722-2305(307) 772-2905

Terms and Definitions

Alcohol The intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol, or other low molecular weight alcohols, including methyl and isopropyl alcohol.

Alcohol Use The drinking or swallowing of any beverage, liquid mixture, or preparation, including any medication, containing alcohol.

Commercial Driver's License

(CDL) A license issued by a State or other jurisdiction, in accordance with the standards contained in 49 CFR part 383, authorizing an individual to operate a class of commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The individuals required to have a CDL under 49 CFR part 383 are subject to controlled substances and alcohol testing. Individuals who are required to possess CDLs by virtue of State or local law or by employer policy, but not by Federal regulation, are not subject to the provisions of 49 CFR parts 382 and 383

Commercial Motor Vehicle

(CMV) A motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle

(a) Has a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) inclusive of a towed unit, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds); or

(b) Has a GVWR of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more); or

(c) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or

(d) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and is required the to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials regulations (49 CFR part 172, subpart F).

Consortium/Third Party

Administrator (C/TPA) A service agent that provides or coordinates one or more drug and/ or alcohol testing services to DOT-regulated employers. C/TPAs typically provide or coordinate the provision of a number of such services and perform administrative tasks concerning the operation of the employers' drug and alcohol testing programs. This term includes, but is not limited to, groups of employers that join together to administer, as a single entity, the DOT drug and alcohol testing programs of its members (e.g., having a combined random testing pool). C/TPAs are not employers under the rules.

Controlled Substances For the purposes of these guidelines, the terms "drugs" and "controlled substances" are interchangeable and have the same meaning. The DOT is testing only for the following five controlled substances: marijuana (THC), cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP), and amphetamines (including methamphetamines).

Designated Employer

Representative (DER) An individual identified by the employer as able to receive communications and test results from service agents and who is authorized to take immediate actions to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties and to make required decisions in the testing and evaluation processes. The individual must be an employee of the company. Service agents cannot serve as DERs.

Driver Any person (volunteer or paid) who operates a CMV and is required to have a CDL. This includes, but is not limited to,

  • Full-time, regularly employed drivers
  • Leased drivers
  • Independent owner-operator contractors (employed directly or leased)
  • Casual, intermittent, or occasional drivers.

Drug See Controlled Substances.

Employee See Driver.

Employer (or Motor Carrier) Any person engaged in a business affecting interstate commerce who owns or leases a commercial motor vehicle in connection with that business, or assigns employees to operate it, but such terms does not include the United States, any State, any political subdivision of a State, or an agency established under a compact between States approved by the Congress of the United States.

FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

FRA Federal Railroad Administration.

Gross Combination Weight Rating The total value specified by the manufacturer(s) of the vehicle as the loaded weight of two or more vehicles. In the absence of a value specified by the manufacturer, it will be determined by adding the gross vehicle weight rating of the power unit to the total weight of the towed unit and any load thereon.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating The value specified by the manufacturer of the vehicle as the loaded weight of a single vehicle.

Seating Capacity or

Designed to Transport The value specified by the manufacturer of the vehicle as the maximum number of persons that may sit in a single vehicle. A

commercial motor vehicle that is altered by removing seats continues to be a commercial motor vehicle until the vehicle's seating capacity certification plate is replaced by a manufacturer.

Service Agent Any person or entity, other than an employee of the employer, that provides services specified under the regulations to employers and/or employees in connection with DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements.

Stand-Down The practice of temporarily removing an employee from the performance of safety-sensitive functions based only on a report from a laboratory to the medical review officer (MRO) of a confirmed positive test, an adulterated test, or a substituted test, before the MRO has completed verification of the test results.

Complete definitions of terms used in parts 40 and 382 may be found in §40.3 and §382.107.

Updated: Thursday, December 18, 2014
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