The Department of Transportation is responsible for making sure that all commercial motor vehicles are operated safely. The agency has rules and regulations about how these vehicles can be used, including a “Return to Duty” regulation.
The Return to Duty regulation requires that any driver who has been found to have violated a DOT regulation must successfully complete a DOT-approved rehabilitation program before he or she can operate a CMV again. The principal purpose of the rehabilitation program is to ensure that the driver understands the requirements for operating a CMV safely and has the skills necessary to do so.
There are a number of different rehabilitation programs that have been approved by the DOT, and drivers must choose one that meets their individual needs. The program must be completed within 90 days of the driver’s last violation. Once the program is successfully completed, the driver must pass a DOT physical and skills test before they can be reinstated.
The DOT’s Return to Duty regulation requires drivers who have been found to be at fault for a violation to complete a rehabilitation program. The purpose of this is to improve commercial motor vehicle safety by ensuring that drivers who have been found to be at fault for a violation understand the importance of following DOT regulations. This, in turn, should lead to fewer accidents and injuries.
The DOT Return to Duty Process and Evaluation is a set of guidelines and requirements that an employee who has been removed from duty for a drug or alcohol-related issue must follow in order to return to work. The evaluation is conducted by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) who will make a determination if the employee is capable of returning to work and what, if any, restrictions or monitoring should be put in place.
The first step in the RTD process is that the employee must complete a DOT return to duty drug test, which must be negative for all drugs. The employee will need to sign a Consent for Release of Information form that will allow the SAP Evaluation to access their medical records.
After the drug test is finished, the Substance Abuse Program will do an evaluation to see if the employee is allowed to come back to work. This evaluation will consider the employee’s past with substance abuse, why they were removed from duty, and any kind of treatment the employee has done. The Substance Abuse Program will also talk to the employee and might talk to the employee’s supervisor, co-workers, and family members.
Based on the evaluation, the SAP will make a recommendation to the employer on whether or not the employee is able to return to work. If the SAP recommends that the employee is then able to return to work, they will also develop a Return to Duty Plan that will outline any restrictions or monitoring that should be put in place. The employer has the final say on whether or not the employee is able to return to work and must notify the employee of their decision in writing.
If the employee is not capable of returning to work, they may reapply for their position after six months. They will be required to complete another DOT return to duty drug test and will be subject to another evaluation by the SAP.
The DOT Return-to-Duty (RTD) process is designed to ensure that employees who have been removed from duty for a drug or alcohol-related issue are able to safely return to work. By following the guidelines and requirements set forth by the DOT, employers can make sure that their workplace is safe and drug-free.
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