Drug and Alcohol Testing Program
The UC Irvine Drug and Alcohol Testing program carries out the Federal regulations set forth by the Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding operating commercial vehicles. The regulations are designed to protect the public by requiring employers to test transportation employees for the use of alcohol and drugs. Transportation employees covered under the DOT regulations are subject to random testing.
Alcohol - The intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol (ethyl alcohol) or other low molecular weight alcohols including methyl or isopropyl alcohol.
Alcohol Testing Site - A place selected by the employer where employees present themselves for the purpose of providing breath or saliva samples for an alcohol test. Alcohol testing sites must be private to insure no unauthorized persons see or hear the test results.
Blood alcohol content (BAC) - (also called Blood alcohol content, blood alcohol concentration, blood ethanol concentration, Blood Alcohol Level (BAL)) is most commonly used as a metric of intoxication for legal or medical purposes
Collection Site - A place selected by the employer where employees present themselves for the purpose of providing a urine specimen for a drug test.
Confirmed Drug Test - A confirmation test result received by an MRO from a laboratory.
Consortium/Third Party Administrator (C/TPA) - A service agent that provides or coordinates the provision of a variety of drug and alcohol testing services to employers. C/TPAs typically perform administrative tasks concerning the operation of the employers’ drug and alcohol testing programs
Designated Employer Representative (DER) - An employee authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s) to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties and to make required decisions in the testing and evaluation processes. The DER also receives test results and other communications for the employer, consistent with the requirements of Part 40.
Dilute Specimen - A specimen with creatine and specific gravity values that are lower than expected for human urine.
DOT, The Department, DOT Agency - These terms encompass all DOT agencies, including, but not limited to, the USCG, the FAA, the FRA, the FMCSA, the FTA, NHTSA, RSPA, and the Office of the Secretary (OST). These terms include any designee of a DOT agency.
Drugs - Illegal drugs and prescription and non-prescription drugs that can affect the ability to drive. The drugs for which tests are required under Part 40 and DOT agency regulations are marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and opiates.
Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) - The campus occupational health department located at UCI. This department is responsible for managing the DOT Drug and Alcohol testing program for the campus.
Evidential Breath Testing Device (EBT) - A device that measures alcohol concentration in the breath.
Human Resources (HR) - Department on campus which coordinates testing and personnel procedures with the applicable department and EH&S.
Medical Review Officer (MRO) - A physician who has been retained by UC Irvine and who meets the Department of Transportation requirements.
Negative Alcohol Test Result - Any breath alcohol test result less than .020 is considered a negative test under the DOT rules and regulations.
Safety-sensitive function - All on-duty time that a transportation employee spends driving, available or waiting to drive, or working in or near a vehicle as described above. All of a transportation employee's hours of work are considered a safety-sensitive function unless the employee has been restricted to non-safety-sensitive duties.
Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) - A person who evaluates employees who have violated DOT drug and/or alcohol regulations and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare. The SAP can be a licensed physician, a licensed psychologist, or a certified employee assistance professional.
Screening Test (Alcohol) - An analytic procedure to determine whether an employee may have a prohibited concentration of alcohol in a breath or saliva specimen.
Screening Test Technician (STT) - A person who instructs and assists employees in the alcohol Screening Test process and operates an Alcohol Screening Device.
Transportation employee - an employee, regardless of job title, who operates a vehicle that:
Job applicants and occasional drivers who meet the above qualifications are also included.
The DOT rule covers employees and contract labor personnel, whose UC Irvine duties are such that federal regulations require them to hold a Class B Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in order to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public highways, and who, during the course of the workday, operate or are expected to be in readiness to operate:
In addition to being subject to drug testing any time while at work, such individuals are subject to alcohol testing during those periods of time when they are currently performing, have recently performed, are about to perform, or are required to be in readiness to perform and immediately available to perform any of the following on-duty-safety sensitive duties as described in the DOT federal regulations, including:
It is UC Irvine policy that all drivers are considered to be immediately available to perform one or more of the above on-duty functions (1) through (7) and therefore are subject to pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing, reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing, and follow-up drug and alcohol testing during all working hours unless explicitly excused from all DOT on-duty functions.
University employment applicants for positions involving the operation of a CMV are required to identify all employers for the previous 10 years during which the applicant has driven a CMV. From this list of past employers, the hiring department will contact employers for the preceding two years. If any prior employer reports that the applicant had an alcohol test with a concentration of 0.04 or greater, a verified positive controlled substances test result, or a refusal to be tested during this period of time, the application will not be processed further until the applicant submits a specific, written authorization to release this information to the department for review. Upon receipt of these records, the hiring department will forward them to the designated UC Irvine Substance Abuse Professional for review in coordination with HR and EH&S. Any costs associated with the SAP will be recharged back to the departments. The purpose of this review is to verify that the applicant has not attempted to evade any required treatment and that other reinstatement requirements have been satisfied prior to the time the applicant sought employment at UCI.
Specifically, records that are required to be kept by previous employers will be requested in order to check the following:
UC Irvine will not hire drivers who have not yet had their CDLs reinstated. Therefore, drivers who have violated DOT drug and/or alcohol prohibitions at UC Irvine or elsewhere will not be hired if they have not satisfactorily completed all reinstatement DOT requirements (including any required rehabilitation, medical recertification to drive, and return-to-duty testing).
Testing for substance abuse is required by UC Irvine in six situations: pre-employment, random selection, reasonable suspicion, post accident, return-to-duty, and follow-up after reinstatement to safety-sensitive functions following removal for violating a drug/alcohol prohibition. Each of these situations is discussed below:
To facilitate the use of casual, intermittent, or occasional drivers (such as trip-lease drivers and other non-campus employee drivers) the requirement for pre-employment testing may be waived if the driver has participated in a DOT drug and alcohol testing program elsewhere and the driver releases to the designated manager by completing the Release of Information – 49 CFR Part 40 Drug and Alcohol background check form to allow for verification of participation in that program.
The pre-employment drug test may be waived if:
Applicants for driver positions will be required to state whether they have failed an alcohol test (at 0.04 or greater), or a drug test, have refused to be tested, or have violated any other DOT drug or alcohol prohibition within the preceding two years. If such a violation did occur, applicants are required to sign a written release of these records for review.
As described in Mandatory Inquiry, it is UC Irvine's policy that employment applicants for CMV driver positions who have previously violated DOT drug and/or alcohol prohibitions will not be hired until they are qualified to drive CMVs. That is, they must have satisfactorily completed all reinstatement and CMV driver qualification requirements.
After receipt of these records, an assessment will be made by a designated UC Irvine Substance Abuse Professional concerning the applicant's compliance with any required assistance or treatment.
The UCI DOT random pool is composed of drivers who are regularly employed as well as intermittent, casual, and occasional drivers.
The violation rate for alcohol testing means the number of covered drivers who had an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater plus the number of drivers who refused a required random alcohol test, divided by the total reported number of employees in the UC Irvine DOT Drug and Alcohol testing program who were given required random alcohol tests plus the total reported number of employees who refused a required random alcohol test.
Drivers are required to submit to drug and/or alcohol testing upon request if supervision or management has reason to believe the driver has violated any of the drug and/or alcohol prohibitions except for suspected possession of alcohol. A reasonable suspicion drug and/or alcohol test will be administered if one or more supervisors or other management officials, who have been trained in behavioral observation, makes a specific observation concerning a driver's appearance, behavior, speech, or body odor. In the case of suspected drug use, the observations may include indications of the chronic or withdrawal effects of controlled substances. An attempt will be made to obtain corroboration from a second management official. However, failure to obtain the corroboration of a second management official will not prevent the conduct of a reasonable suspicion DOT test. When testing is required, supervision or management will make necessary arrangements for the testing and the required contact with Environmental Health and Safety and/or Human Resources, as described in DOT supervisory training. To accommodate special circumstances, supervisors are provided instructions during DOT supervisory training on how to arrange the conduct of drug and alcohol tests off site and on weekends and holidays.
A driver will be requested to undergo reasonable suspicion alcohol testing only:
A written record will be made of the observation leading to a reasonable suspicion drug or alcohol test, and signed by the supervisor or other trained university official who made the observations within 24 hours of the observed behavior or before the drug test result is released, whichever is earlier.
If a supervisor has reason to believe a driver has used alcohol, and a reasonable suspicion alcohol test is not administered, the driver will be prevented from performing or continuing to perform safety-sensitive functions until either an alcohol test is administered with a result of less than 0.02 BAC, or 24 hours have elapsed.
Before a driver returns to duty in a safety-sensitive function after engaging in prohibited conduct, he or she must undergo a return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol test as specified by a Substance Abuse Professional. Return-to-duty alcohol test results must be below 0.02 BAC.
Situations require drug and alcohol testing of each surviving driver of a CMV as soon as practicable after an accident:
Drivers who are subject to post-accident testing are required to remain readily available for testing for the next 8 hours for an alcohol test and for the next 32 hours for a drug test, unless tested or excused from testing. Except in medical emergencies, failure of the driver to remain available for drug and/or an alcohol testing will be considered as refusal to submit to testing. Until tested for alcohol or excused from testing, the driver must abstain from consumption of alcohol for 8 hours following the accident. Prior to being allowed to operate a CMV, drivers will be provided with the necessary information and instructions by their departments or divisions regarding the procedures to follow regarding where and when to submit to post-accident testing. These procedures will enable the driver to comply with this requirement whether on UC Irvine property, on the highway, or elsewhere.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Nothing in this document (or rule itself) should be construed as to require the delay of necessary medical attention for injured people following an accident or to prevent a driver from leaving the scene of an accident for the period necessary to obtain assistance in responding to an accident, or to obtain necessary emergency medical care.
Each driver who has been identified by a Substance Abuse Professional as needing assistance in resolving a substance abuse problem and who has returned to duty requiring the performance of a safety-sensitive function will be subject to unannounced follow-up drug and/or alcohol testing. The number, frequency, and types of these follow-up tests will be as specified by the Substance Abuse Professional. Follow-up tests will not involve advance notice to the individual.
Follow-Up tests will be conducted:
Federal regulations require a collector or observer to directly observe the employee while he/she provides a urine specimen if:
Note: Refusal to Test: A refusal to take a Federal test usually has harsher penalties than a positive test result. Never refuse to cooperate with the testing requirements. Take the test and if needed, address any issues you have later.
There are only a few procedural errors serious enough to be considered “fatal” flaws that cause a Federal Drug or Alcohol test to be cancelled. A fatal flaw is a non-correctable procedural error which creates the question of doubt whether the specimen tested was the employee’s or whether the test result on the specimen was correct (for example, if the specimen ID numbers on the specimen bottle do not match those on the test form).
Questions about the UCI DOT Drug and Alcohol Program, including who is required to be included in it, may be directed to EH&S and/ or HR:
Employee Relations Consultant
Federal & Alcohol Test Authorization Form
What Employees need to know about DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/ODAPC_Employer_Guidelines_%20June_1_2015_0.pdf
For information on the UC Drug and Alcohol Testing of Transportation Employees Policy http://www.policies.uci.edu/adm/pols/903-29.html
University Policy on Substance Abuse in the Workplace, November 1, 1990 http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/policies_employee_labor_relations/personnel_policies/pol02.html
State of California, Department of California Highway Patrol, Controlled Substances and Alcohol Testing Compliance Checklist (CHP 800F [Rev 12-02] OPI 062)
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-143,title V)
Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 Transportation (Parts 40, 382, 391, 392, 395) https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/PART40_20150413.pdf
The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-600, Title V, subtitle D)
Initiator: Karla Cornejo
Reviewer: Monique Skahan