The FMCSA announced recently that they have increased the drug testing rates for employees in safety-sensitive duty. Truck drivers and others covered by the rule will likely be subject to an increased number of random drug screens in 2020. The alcohol rate remains at 10%.
According to a document published in the Federal Register on Dec. 27, the agency is increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing from 25% of the average number of driver positions to 50% of the average number of driver positions. This change will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
Who is Impacted?
For reference, FMCSA estimates there are 3.2 million commercial driver license holders participating in interstate commerce and 1 million CDL holders. Under the annual random testing rate of 25% of all driving positions, this meant at least 1.05 million random controlled substances tests were to be conducted. With a testing rate of 50%, approximately 2.1 million random tests will need to be conducted in 2020.
DOT Return to Duty Changes
Employees who don’t pass those screens will be subject to the DOT Return to Duty Process as outlined in CFR Part 40. Aside from the addition of the Clearinghouse in 2020- that process remains largely the same. Our friends at ITI have included this in their announcement this week.
DOT/SAP Services from Heartland Intervention
Heartland Intervention, LLC is the leading provider of Substance Abuse Professional services in the area. Scott J. Watson is a qualified DOT/SAP with many years of experience. He is registered in the FMCSA Clearinghouse and ready to assist you.
These changes can be confusing for drivers and companies alike. For more info, click HERE. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Scott- call 317-752-8811.
Several families have recently reached out to Heartland Intervention, with the same question: Is an intervention necessary? It’s common to wonder about this when you are concerned or troubled by a loved one’s substance use or addiction. And the answer is not the same for every family.
Heartland founder Scott J. Watson meets with families to learn more about the patterns of use, medical, psychiatric, vocational and legal history- previous treatment history and more. This allows us to craft the best possible response.
What NOT to Do
Before meeting with us- most families have tried begging a person to go to treatment. Many have also yelled, screamed and cried during those conversations. That didn’t work.
Intervention is not about just approaching or confronting a loved one with a substance abuse problem. Rather it is about having the whole family and support system rally around a comprehensive plan of action. Heartland Intervention specializes in working with families who want their loved one to choose treatment for their alcohol or drug use.
Why Choose Heartland Intervention and Scott J. Watson?
Heartland Intervention exists to save lives and families by lovingly offering recovery instead of addiction. Scott J. Watson is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor and Masters Addictions Counselor with years of intervention experience. He is qualified and ethical! If you are worried about someone- don’t wait! Call Scott J. Watson today at 317-752-8811 to discuss “Is an intervention necessary” for your loved-one.
For more information, you can learn about intervention HERE.
As one of the leading providers of DOT/SAP evaluations in Central Indiana, Heartland Intervention, LLC regularly sees clients as part of the CFR Part 40 Return to Duty process. It’s also not uncommon for a client to seek such an evaluation, when they don’t really need or qualify under the federal rule.
So when is a “DOT violation” not really a violation? CFR Part 40 requires an evaluation when a covered employee fails one of the following types of urine drug screen or breath alcohol test: Pre-employment, Random, Follow-up, Return to Duty, Post-Accident and Reasonable Suspicion. These are the ONLY types of test covered under the rule.
When an employee fails a test administered under company policy, union agreement or as part of a physical- even a DOT physical- it can be problematic, even dangerous. But it is NOT a DOT violation and does not allow for a DOT assessment. As with many cases, there are a couple of loopholes and exclusions. That is precisely why employers and employees trust Scott J. Watson and Heartland Intervention.
If you have question about CFR Part 40, contact us directly. As a qualified DOT/SAP, Scott J. Watson has both clinical expertise and years of experience needed to navigate this challenging process. He can answer your questions directly at 317-752-8811.
The Return to Duty process can be complex and challenging. Trust an expert to guide you through the process or keep your company compliant with federal rule.
For many of us Summer features picnics, reunions, concerts and parties which often feature alcohol and drug use. It’s common to pick up the paper and find that public officials, teachers, coaches and others well known in the community have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI, OVWI or similar). The experience is understandably challenging but can be made much better by getting an independent, professional assessment.
When facing charges for drunk driving or similar, many defendants will choose to be represented by an attorney. One of the Best Divorce Johnson County requests that their clients get an assessment to assist with the legal defense. Experience shows and attorneys tell us that an assessment can greatly reduce probation or jail time and can be useful in obtaining a hardship drivers license.
Professional Evaluations and Assessments
When seeking an assessment, it is important to look for these three things: proper professional credentials, independent affiliation and experience. It’s critical that your assessment be completed by someone with a Masters Degree and LCAC licensure. Anything less is not enough. It’s important to utilize an independent professional who has no ties to treatment facilities. This assures no dual relationships and that you will get an honest evaluation of your use and situation. Finally, you should use a professional who is experienced not just as a therapist but as an evaluator and report creator.
At Heartland Intervention, our founder Scott J. Watson is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor and DOT-qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) with experience in conducting complex substance use evaluations. If you or a loved one are facing legal charges or needs an evaluation for any other reason, call us at 317-752-8811. We are committed to affordable and professional care in timely manner.
The FMCSA has signaled big changes in an effort to close a loophole in the DOT Return to Duty Process. In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking state licensing agencies will be required to “downgrade” the license of a driver for whom a verified positive drug test, a confirmed alcohol test of 0.04 or higher, a refusal to submit to a test, or an employer’s actual knowledge is reported to the Clearinghouse. In short- fail a urine drug screen or breath alcohol test, you will lose your license as well.
The goal of this proposed change is to make sure that employees are not merely switching employers following a violation. CFR Part 40 requires those employees to complete the specified Return to Duty Process which includes seeing a qualified Substance Abuse Professional. While no date has been announced for this change it will likely occur as the Clearinghouse goes into effect in January, 2020. The Clearinghouse requires all violations to be entered into a web-based data system.
We at Heartland Intervention, LLC applaud this change but realize that it will likely result in dramatically higher costs for employees. We are a leading provider of DOT Substance Abuse Professional evaluations in Indiana. If you have any questions about this change the current DOT Return to Duty guidelines, call Scott J. Watson, SAP directly at 317-752-8811.