CDL Drivers - Drug & Alcohol Testing Guidelines, including January 2020 Addendum

April 2022
  • Breath Alcohol Test

Drug & Alcohol Testing Policy: Certificate of Receipt


          In accordance with the Amherst College Environmental Health & Safety Policy, the following Drug & Alcohol Testing guidelines have been designed to provide the appropriate health and safety requirements that are to be followed for operators of vehicles that are obligated to have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). The guidelines have been established in order to comply with all local, state and federal regulations, including that of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and other nationally recognized standards.


          To establish guidelines and performance objectives for the health and safety of Amherst College employees who are required to maintain a Commercial Drivers License for routine, sporadic or emergency use.


          The Amherst College Drug & Alcohol Testing Guidelines found here-in comply with local, state and federal requirements, including the Department of Transportation (DOT). It applies to all Amherst College drivers required to have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) for vehicles that meet the following requirements:

          1. weight in excess of 26,000 lbs., GVWR
          2. are designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver)
          3. are of any size which is used in the transportation of a placarded amount of hazardous materials

          Alcohol - The intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol, or other low molecular weight alcohol including methyl isopropyl.

          Alcohol Use - The consumption of any beverage, mixture, or preparation, including any medication containing alcohol.

          Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT) - An individual who instructs and assists individuals in the alcohol testing process and operates the evidential breath testing device (EBT).

          Confirmation Test - For alcohol testing, this means a second test following a screening with a result of 0.02 or greater that provides a quantitative data of alcohol concentration. For controlled substances testing, this means a second analytical procedure to identify the presence of a specific drug or metabolite which is independent of the screen test and which uses a different technique and chemical principle from that of the screen test in order to ensure reliability and accuracy.

          Controlled Substance/Drug - A drug substance or immediate precursor in any schedule or class, legally prescribed or illegally used. This would be Class I - VI as regulated by the federal government. Examples are barbituates, marijuana, cocaine, cough syrups with codeine, amphetamines, opiates, PCP, morphine, and narcotics (refer to 21 CFR 1308.11 schedule I for a complete list)

          Driver - Any person within Amherst College who operates a commercial motor vehicle. For the purposes of pre-employment testing, the term "driver" includes a person applying to drive a commercial motor vehicle.

          Employer - This means any person (including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the federal government) who owns or leases a commercial motor vehicle or assigns persons to operate such vehicle including agents, officers, and representatives of the employer.

          Medical Review Officer (MRO) - A licensed physician (medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy) responsible for receiving laboratory results generated by an employer's drug testing policy who has knowledge of substance abuse disorders and has the appropriate medical training to interpret and evaluate an individual's confirmed positive test result with his/her medical history and any other relevant biomedical information.

          Refusal to Submit - A driver fails if:

          1. he/she fails to provide adequate breath for testing without a valid medical explanation after he/she has received notice of the requirement of the required breath testing
          2. he/she fails to provide adequate urine sample for controlled substances testing without valid medical explanation after he/she has received notice of the requirement for urine testing
          3. he/she engages in conduct that clearly obstructs the testing process including, but not limited to, adulterated or substituted test results

          Safety-Sensitive Function - Any of the on-duty functions identified below:

          1. all time at a carrier or shipper plant, terminal, facility, or other property waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved from duty by the employer
          2. all time inspecting equipment as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) or otherwise inspecting, servicing, or conducting any commercial motor vehicle at any time
          3. all time spent at the driving controls of a commercial vehicle
          4. all time, other than driving time, spent on or in a commercial vehicle except time spent in a sleeping berth
          5. all time loading or unloading a commercial vehicle, supervising , or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a vehicle being loaded or unloaded, remaining in readiness to operate the vehicle, or in giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded
          6. all time spent performing the driver requirements associated with an accident
          7. all time repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled vehicle

          Screening Test (aka, Initial Test) - For alcohol testing it means an analytical procedure to determine whether a driver may have a prohibited concentration of alcohol in his/her system. For controlled substance testing it means an immunoassay screen to eliminate "negative" urine specimens from further consideration.

          Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)- A licensed physician (medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy) or a licensed or certified psychologist, social worker, employee assistance professional, or addiction counselor (certified by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission) with knowledge of and clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of alcohol and controlled substances related disorders.

          General Requirements

          1.  The Amherst College Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy is required by the Department of Transportation and is designed to deter alcohol and controlled substance misuse in the service and transportation industry. The Amherst College Guideline slightly exceeds the requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT), 49 CFR, Part 40 by requiring our employees to do both the drug and alcohol test, at the same time.
          2. Amherst College shall provide insofar as it is reasonable and within its control, a safe and healthy environment for our faculty, staff, students, and visitors. The college is strongly committed to its employees and will provide education, referral, and confidentiality of information.
          3. With few exceptions, all drivers required to have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) are subject to the controlled substance and alcohol testing rules.

          A Commercial Drivers License (CDL) is required for drivers operating a vehicle...

          1. in excess of 26,000 pounds, GVWR
          2. designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver)
          3. or of any size which is used in the transportation of a placarded amount of hazardous materials

          The Alcohol and Controlled Substance Policy training and implementation shall be initiated January 1, 1998 for Amherst College.

          Types of Testing

          1.  pre-employment
          2. post-accident - conducted after accidents on the driver and other employees whose performance could have contributed to the accident and is performed if:
            1. there is a fatality
            2. an injury is treated away from the scene
            3. a vehicle has to be towed from the scene because of disabling damage
              1. if an alcohol test is required and not administered within two hours following the accident, the Amherst College shall prepare and maintain on file a record stating the reasons the test was not promptly administered. If a required test is not administered within eight hours following the accident, Amherst College will cease attempts to administer an alcohol test and shall prepare and maintain the same record.
              2. if a controlled substance test is required by this section is not administered within 32 hours following the accident, Amherst College shall cease attemts to administer a controlled substance test and prepare and maintain on file a record stating the reasons the test was not promptly administered.
          3. random - conducted on a random basis just before, during, or after performance of a safety-sensitive function
            1. reasonable suspicion - conducted when a trained person observes behavior or appearance that is characteristic of alcohol or controlled substance misuse
            2. return-to-duty and follow-up - are tests conducted before an individual who has violated the prohibited alcohol and controlled substance conduct standards completed any recommended treatment and returns to performing safety-sensitive duties. (Follow-up tests are unannounced and at least 6 of these tests must be conducted in the first 12 months after an employee returns to duty. Follow-up tests may be extended for up to 60 months following return to duty.)

          Alcohol and Controlled Substance Activities Prohibited Under Policy and Procedure:

            1.  reporting for duty or remaining on duty to perform a safety-sensitive function while having an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater
            2. being on duty or operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) while the driver possesses alcohol unless the alcohol is manifested and transported as part of the shipment. This includes the possession of medicines containing alcohol - prescription or over-the-counter - unless the seal is unbroken.
            3. using alcohol, including medicines which contain alcohol, while performing safety-sensitive functions
            4. when required to take a post-accident alcohol test, using alcohol within 8 hours following the accident or prior to undergoing a post-accident test, whichever comes first
            5. refusing to submit to an alcohol or controlled substance test required by past accident, random, reasonable suspicion, or follow-up testing requirements
            6. reporting for or remaining on duty requiring performance of a safety-sensitive function when the driver uses a controlled substance
            7. reporting for or remaining on duty requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions when the driver uses any non-Schedule I drug or substance that is identifed in the other Schedules in 21 CFR part 1308 except when the use is pursuant ot the instructions of a licensed medical practitioner who is familiar with the driver's medical history and has advised the driver that the substance will not adversely affect the driver's ability to perform safety-sensitive functions
            8. reporting for duty, remaining on duty, or performing a safety-sensitive function if the driver tests positive for controlled substances.


          Employer/Supervisor Responsibilities:

          1.  Amherst College is responsible for implementing and conducting the drug and alcohol testing policy
          2. the College shall provide information on drug use and treatment resources to safety-sensitive drivers. (All supervisors of safety-sensitive drivers must attend at least 1 hour of training on the signs and symptoms of drug abuse and a 1-hour session on alcohol abuse. This training is necessary to assist supervisors and College officials in making appropriate determinations for reasonable suspicion testing.) Questions about 
          3. no supervisor shall allow a driver to perform a safety-sensitive function unless the result of the breath alcohol level is less than 0.02
          4. if greater than, or equal to, 0.02, but less than 0.04, the employer/supervisor shall remove the driver from the safety-sensitive function until the start of the driver's next regularly scheduled duty period, but not less than 24 hours following the administration of the test
          5. no supervisor having knowledge that a driver used and/or tested positively for alcohol or a controlled substance shall permit the driver to perform safety-sensitive functions
          6. any supervisor having knowledge of a positive alcohol or controlled substance test for his/her employee and allowing same to perform a safety-sensitive function shall be subject to disciplinary action
          7. all alcohol and controlled substance testing results and other pertinent information shall be delivered to and maintained indefinitely in the Amherst College Office of Human Resources.
          8. the College shall keep the results confidential unless, upon written request, the employee wishes to obtain copies of the alcohol or controlled substance test
          9. if reasonable suspicion has been identified while performing, just before performing, or just after performing safety-sensitive functions by (2) or more supervisors who have received training in accordance with 49 CFR 282.603, the employee observed shall be required to submit an alcohol and/or controlled substances test. Arrangements or transport to AEIOU Occupational Healthcare shall be made through the employee's supervisor (under no circumstances should the employee be allowed to drive himself/herself to the testing area)
          10. the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for Amherst College shall be utilized as a resource for alcohol and substance abuse information - the EAP for Amherst College is AEIOU and can be contacted at 413-461-3530 and is located at 170 University Dr, Amherst, MA 01002.

          Testing Procedures:

          1. random alcohol and controlled substance testing shall be conducted just before, during, or just after a driver's performance of a safety-sensitive function
          2. the driver is randomly selected for testing from the pool of drivers who hold CDLs by Foley Carrier Services 140 Huyshope Ave, Hartford, CT 06106. Testing will take place at AEIOU Occupational Healthcare. 
          3. Screening test - initial breath alcohol test given:
            • if the result is below 0.02, the test is considered to be negative
            • if the result is greater than, or equal to, 0.02, a confirmation test will be performed within 30 minutes of initial test.
              1. Confirmation test - required when the employee tests positively, above 0.02 during the screening test:
                • if the confirmation test is negative, the test has been successfully completed. No further action is required
                • if the confirmation test is greater than 0.02, appropriate action is necessary. See "consequences of a positive test", section 7.
              2. Test site:
                  • all initial breath alcohol and controlled substance testing will be done at AEIOU Occupational Healthcare or other test site described below
                  • confirmation testing for breath alcohol shall also be done at AEIOU, unless other arrangements have been made
                  • drug (controlled substance) testing is initially performed at AEIOU but the analysis of the urine specimen is done at a Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) certified laboratory in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT)

                => exception: in the event of a motor vehicle accident, the results of a breath or blood test for alcohol and/or urine test for the use of controlled substances conducted by Federal, State, or local officials having idependent autority of the test, shall be considered to meet the requirement of a post-accident alcohol/controlled substance test, provided that the results of this test is obtained by Amherst College


              • Please Note: Names and ID numbers are randomly picked. Once tested, the employee will be placed back in the random pool and could be selected again during the year.

          Breath Alcohol Test (2 Types)

            1. Controlled Substance (Drug) Testing Procedure
              1. the driver selected for either a random, reasonable suspicion, or other type of testing shall report to AEIOU at the assigned time and date. The selected driver must be transported by a supervisor.
              2. at AEIOU the driver will provide a urine specimen in a location that affords privacy and the collector (AEIOU staff) seals and labels the specimen, completes the "Chain of Custody" document, and prepares the specimen and accompanying paperwork for shipment to a drug testing facility which is certified by DHHS
              • split sample - each sample is divided into 2 bottles:
                  • primary sample (at least 30ml) is opened and used for urinalysis
                  • secondary sample (at least 15ml) remains sealed and is stored at the laboratory

                Please note: If the analysis of the primary sample confirms the presence of illegal, controlled substances, the driver has only 72 hours to request that the split sample be sent to another DHHS certified laboratory for analysis and a second opinion.
            2. the urine specimens are analyzed for the following drugs (controlled substances):
              • marijuana (THC metabolite)
              • cocaine
              • amphetamines
              • opiates (including heroin)
              • phencyclidine (PCP)
            3. drug test results shall be reviewed and interpreted by a physician or Medical Review Officer (MRO) before they are reported to the employer
            4. if the DHHS laboratory reports a positive test for any one of the controlled substances, the MRO must make every attempt to contact the employee (tested driver) in person or by telephone
            5. the MRO will then conduct an interview of the selected CDL driver to determine if there is an alternative medical explanation for the positive test
            6. if the driver provides appropriate documentation and the MRO determines that it is a legitimate medical use of a prohibited drug, the drug test will be reported as negative to the employer
              • if the test for the controlled substance is positive but the MRO determines that the prescribed manner in which the drug is given is justified, the MRO can document the test as negative (However, the MRO must make the employer aware that the driver needs to be removed from the safety-sensitive function for medical reasons.)
            7. the Federal Highway Administration also prohibits "safety-sensitive" drivers from using legally prescribed controlled substances (such as those described above) while performing safety-sensitive functions
            8. use of prescribed medications (controlled substances) must be reported to the MRO so that he/she can make the appropriate notations and recommendations to the College representative (Amherst College Human Resources or Assistant Human Resources Director and/or supervisor) if the employee is to perform a safety-sensitive duty


            1. Consequences of a Positive Test:
                1. for drugs - removal cannot take place until the MRO has interviewed the driver and determined that the positive drug test resulted from the authorized use of a controlled substance
                • for alcohol - should the screening and confirmation test show a breath alcohol of > 0.02, but < 0.04, the driver shall be removed from the safety-sensitive function for at least 24 hours
              1. if the confirmed test shows a breath alcohol > 0.04, the driver cannot return to safety sensitive duties until he/she has been evaluated by a substance abuse professional and has complied with any treatment recommendations to assist them with an alcohol problem
                • if a driver cannot be immediately tested after reasonable suspicion, the driver must be removed from performing safety-sensitive functions for at least 24 hours
              2. removal from duty shall be the responsibility of the supervisor for the driver performing such safety-sensitive duties
              3. if an employees for any reason is not allowed to perform any function on campus because of alcoholor drug use, the supervisor shall assist with making arrangements for transportation home or to the nearest appropriate medical facility:
                • under no circumstances shall the driver be allowed to drive his/her own vehicle
                • if necessary, the Amherst Ambulance should be utilized
              4. any disciplinary action shall be implemented by the supervisor in progressive stages as outlined below. Such action is intended to be from a less severe corrective action, such as alternative duty, to a more severe corrective action, such as suspension without pay, or dismissal "in order to bring about the necessary change in work habits".
                  • Alcohol
                      1. if >.02 and <.04 - remove from safety sensitive function until the next shift, which can not be less than 24 hours.

                    Exception - if the driver can be tested within 30 minutes after initial test and the test results are less than 0.02, then the driver can return to work, functioning in the safety sensitive position.
                    1. if >.04 must be seen by a Substance Abuse Professional and shall follow any treatment recommendations, before they are allowed to return to their safety sensitive positions.
                    2. After the MRO and SAP have determined it is now acceptable for the employee to return to their Safety Sensitive Position, the employee will be tested not less than six (6) times over the course of the next 12 months.
                  • Controlled Substance
                    1. if the employee performing safety sensitive has been tested positively initially, then;
                      1. they shall be removed from their safety sensitive position, after the Amherst College Human Resources Director or the Assistant Director has received word from the MRO of the positive test.
                      2. The employee can request that AEIOU Occupational Healthcare send the 2nd, or split sample to another laboratory for confirmation.
                        • If the confirmation test proves negative, the employee can return to their safety sensitive position.
                        • If the confirmation test proves positive, the employee is removed from their safety sensitive position permanently, unless through conversation with Amherst College Human Resources and the MRO / SAP an alternative course of action is decided
                  • Disciplinary Action
                    1. Verbal notification
                    2. Verbal notification with file documentation
                    3. Written notification with file documentation
                    4. Suspension without pay (length determined by supervisor and Human Resources department)
                    5. Dismissal
              • If an employee of Amherst College has deviated from policy or procedures implemented by the college or department the offending employee may be subject to a progressive disciplinary action or dismissal. The supervisor in cooperation with the department head and the Department of Human Resources can exercise the following disciplinary action protocol;
                • The driver must be removed from this safety-sensitive function if he/she tests positive for alcohol (>0.02) or for drugs: