SAP Evaluation | SAP for DOT in California | DOT Approved

Evaluation

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DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.285 § 40.285

When is a SAP evaluation required?

(a) As an employee, when you have violated DOT drug and alcohol regulations, you cannot again perform any DOT safety-sensitive duties for any employer until and unless you complete the SAP evaluation, referral, and education/treatment process set forth in this subpart and in applicable DOT agency regulations. The first step in this process is a SAP evaluation.
(b) For purposes of this subpart, a verified positive DOT drug test result, a DOT alcohol test with a result indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, a refusal to test (including by adulterating or substituting a urine specimen) or any other violation of the prohibition on the use of alcohol or drugs under a DOT agency regulation constitutes a DOT drug and alcohol regulation violation.”
The first step is meeting with a DOT-qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) for an evaluation.
SAP Evaluations are done to help employees return to safety-sensitive duties safely after violating DOT Drug and Alcohol regulations. DOT Drug and Alcohol violations occurred in multiple ways and the most controversial one is what is called Refusal to Test.
Refusal simply means that you did not do the screening at the location and at the time that it was given. Here is an example of what could be considered a refusal:
Example (Truck Driver)
John has been driving for a trucking company called Acme Trucking for the last 25 years. He has never failed a randomized drug screening and has actually never attempted either alcohol or drugs.
Today he was asked to report to a specific location for a DOT random test. John understood he must comply with the DOT regulations and went straight to the screening center. Upon arrival, he got in line and received a ticket number, and was simply waiting for his number to be called. John then received an urgent phone call.
His daughter just got in a car accident and needed a ride back home because her car was totaled. John is a good father and without a second thought got in his truck and drove to the scene of the accident, picked up his daughter, drove home, and not only saved the day but also incurred a refusal to test on his records.
You may ask yourself why? If you sign in to do a screening at a center and leave the premises for any reason, you will incur a refusal to test which is considered a positive screening. You will have to undergo the same steps as an individual who tested positive for any substances
So, what does the Return-to-Duty process look like?
Regardless of what DOT agency’s rules you’re covered by, you must designate your SAP. Your SAP will evaluate you and then recommend that you complete either Education/Treatment or both.
Your SAP will refer you to a third-party treatment provider to complete your Education and/or Treatment. Upon successful completion of your Education and/or Treatment, your SAP will evaluate you again to determine your Return to Duty eligibility.
Your SAP will send a report to your current or new employer along with your follow-up testing plan. You will do your Return-to-Duty test and your follow-up tests with your employer.
NOTE: If you’re covered by the FMCSA rules, you must designate your SAP in the Clearinghouse. You may be asking yourself: What is the clearinghouse? The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that gives employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs), and State law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.)
You may be asking yourself another question: How long does the return-to-duty process take?
Well, DOT has specific rules SAPs and employers must follow when returning employees with Drug and Alcohol violations to safety-sensitive duties. At AACS Counseling, we understand how important it is for you to return to duty, and our qualified SAPs are ready to help you return to safety-sensitive duties as quickly as possible. Please call (800) 683-7745 and our specialists will walk you through each step. Also, AACS Counseling offers payment plans to its clients, So, call today and speak with our specialists.
Another question people always ask is: “Will I be able to find employment after completing the SAP program?”
Completion of the SAP program does not guarantee employment. It’s up to the employer to decide whether to hire you or not. However, testimony from our clients show it is possible to gain employment after completing the SAP program. Although some companies automatically filter out applicants with past DOT Drug and Alcohol violations, there are many other companies that will hire you once your SAP report shows you successfully completed the SAP program. Again, it’s up to the employer to decide whether to hire someone with past DOT Drug and Alcohol violations or not.
Subpart O – Substance Abuse Professionals and the Return-to-Duty Process § 40.285 When is an SAP evaluation required? (a) As an employee, when you have violated DOT drug and alcohol regulations, you cannot again perform any DOT safety-sensitive duties for any employer until and unless you complete the SAP evaluation, referral, and education/treatment process set forth in this subpart and in applicable DOT agency regulations. The first step in this process is an SAP evaluation. (b) For purposes of this subpart, a verified positive DOT drug test result, a DOT alcohol test with a result indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, a refusal to test (including by adulterating or substituting a urine specimen), or any other violation of the prohibition on the use of alcohol or drugs under a DOT agency regulation constitutes a DOT drug and alcohol regulation violation.
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