DOT Return to Duty

Drug and Alcohol Testing: If you ever go through the return to duty process with a driver, just realize it will take a year or more. And before it is done you will accumulate enough DOT return to duty paperwork to fill a 3-ring binder – almost an inch thick. I’m working on one right now. We had this guy make a mistake and show up positive. He did everything asked of him since then, which is the very definition of a guy that’s worth the effort. But we won’t be done until many months later. To give you all a concept of how thick it is, it’s an inch thick already, and it’s only about 2/3 of the way finished. Some people use sites, however, to help them pass drugs tests. Especially if they are urine tests or hair follicle tests, as there are measures you can take to remove any trace of drugs from your body. Others without this knowledge aren’t so lucky.

And the driver is never allowed to drive a CMV legally unless he completes and has this evidence. Don’t make the mistake of thinking a guy shows you one piece of paper and he’s off the hook. The DOT return to duty process takes a long time. It creates a bunch of paperwork, of which not a piece can have any hiccups. In addition, if you decide to hire a guy that failed a drug test once even 23 years ago, he must give you this evidence, and you have to be sure it’s all compliant. If DOT return-to-duty drug and alcohol testing is a problem for you, give us a call.  Ultimately, if you are performing tasks that are safety-sensitive according to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), such as driving a truck, working on pipelines, operating a train, or even fixing a plane, then, by default, you are subject to a DOT drug test. 

When a DOT employee leaves and comes back

And by the way, DOT return-to-duty tests can never be used for an employee that leaves for a few weeks and then comes back. If a driver has not been dispatched for 30 days, you take them off the random selection list. If they return, you do not use the DOT RTD test; instead, you treat them like a new employee, and they complete a new pre-employment drug test. DOT Return to duty is only used when a driver has failed or refused any DOT drug or alcohol test. Then it is followed up by, you guessed it, DOT follow-up testing. And that’s how this process creates so much paperwork.


Take some DOT Supervisor Drug and Alcohol Training to figure all this out!