What Commercial Bus Drivers Need to Know about DOT Drug & Alcohol Rules

What Commercial Bus Drivers Need to Know about DOT Drug & Alcohol Rules

Commercial bus drivers, like any commercial CDL driver, are subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing. Even part-time or backup drivers are subject to these rules. These tests are mandatory as a pre-employment condition or following an accident. CDL drivers are also tested randomly throughout the year and follow-up tested if there is a failure.

A driver can fail the test by testing positive on a drug test, registering 0.04 or greater for alcohol or refusing to submit to a test. In each case, the DOT requires that the employee be removed from performing safety-sensitive functions (like driving) until successful completion of the return-to-duty process.

You may wonder if you will lose your job after failing a DOT drug test. The answer largely depends on the steps you take moving forward. In some cases, an employer may re-assign you to a function that is not safety-sensitive while you undertake the return-to-duty process. If terminated, a bus driver can regain employment after a failed drug test if he or she successfully completes the Return-to-Duty process.

What is the Return-to-Duty process?

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The return-to-duty process is an individual program setup by a DOT-qualified Substance Abuse Professional. If an employee fails a DOT mandated drug or alcohol test, failed test, he or she must seek a DOT qualified SAP. The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is the person responsible for evaluating employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation. The SAP also makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare. Once a person has fulfilled the recommendations, he or she can seek to regain employment and return to safety-sensitive functions.

Even if you choose to work with a new employer or move to a new state, you will still have to complete the Return-to-Duty process. You cannot drive a bus after a failed drug test until you fulfill your SAP program.

A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is qualified by the Department of Transportation to evaluate and prepare an employee to return-to-work. If you fail or refuse a DOT drug test, you must work with a SAP to complete the Return-to-Duty process.

Where Can Bus Drivers Find A DOT SAP?

Where do I find a SAP near me? Your employer may provide you with a list of qualified SAPs near you or you can locate one yourself. However, you must make certain the SAP is DOT qualified.

American Substance Abuse Professionals, Inc. is a company that serves the United States with over 5,000 DOT qualified SAPs. They will help you connect with a local SAP so that you can start the process right away and get back to work as soon as possible. Approximately 85% of their clients are able to return-to-work after completing their SAP program. To learn more or get connected with a SAP in your area, enroll now.

Can you get your old job back as a bus driver? Potentially. Your former employer may choose to rehire you at their discretion. You may also apply for a new job, as long as you have completed the DOT return-to-duty process and been cleared for work.