Motor Carrier Search DOT Driver/Files Broker Authority DOT Authority Plates Licensing Products

Return To Duty Process

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 8:32 p.m.


Return To Duty Process

If you drive a truck for a living, you know that there's a return to duty process involved if your health and safety are compromised. But what exactly is the return to duty process? Well, here's the thing. It basically means that after you've been reported as unfit for driving, you have to go through an evaluation process with a qualified professional before being cleared to get back behind the wheel. This ensures that any medical or other issues that may impair your ability to operate a commercial vehicle safely are addressed. It's all about keeping everyone on the road safe and secure! Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.

What Does a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) Do?

A Substance Abuse Professional must conduct an extensive in-person evaluation and provide a detailed plan of action or education. Afterward, the SAP must submit a report to the employer expressing their recommendation. To ensure that the individual follows through with the plan, they will also track progress and hold another face-to-face follow-up evaluation after completion to verify its success. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

You must take the return-to-duty test seriously. If you fail, it will cost you time, money, and effort to return to square one with another assessment and treatment for a new violation. Your employer could also decide to terminate your employment if you fail the return-to-duty test or have multiple violations. What is the DOT SAP Program?

The success of any treatment program is primarily up to you. It is essential, to be honest about your alcohol use during the assessment process and adhere to any agreement that is worked out between you and your SAP. Doing so will give you the best chance of passing the return-to-duty test and preventing future violations. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

What Takes Place After a Substance Abuse Evaluation?

Your SAP will make recommendations for any necessary aftercare. Aftercare is important for long-term treatment and recovery success. Depending on the situation, this can include programs such as therapy or support groups to help with mental health issues, substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and monitoring, or referrals to other healthcare professionals. You must visit the Website link.

If the SAP determines that your issue is not related to drugs or alcohol, then they may recommend alternative treatments such as counseling, lifestyle changes, or further medical evaluations. Your SAP will assess your progress throughout the returns-to-duty process and recommend appropriate follow-up testing if needed. This could include additional drug tests, physicals, psychological evaluations, or other assessments as required. What is MC Number?

If your employer decides to give you a second chance, and if your initial return-to-duty drug test result is negative, you will be subject to additional testing administered by your SAP. The SAP may require at least six unannounced follow-up tests within the first year. The number of tests and the duration of the testing period can extend up to five years. Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes. How to get Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

What Is the Return-to-Duty (RTD) Test?

The Return-to-Duty (RTD) test is an essential step in the process of returning to work after an employee has violated a company's drug and alcohol policy. If the violation occurs in a safety-sensitive position, such as oil and gas, construction, or transportation, the employee must be removed from duty immediately. In other cases, actions can vary depending on the circumstances. The RTD test helps employers determine if it is safe for the employee to return to their job duties and evaluate whether further monitoring or treatment may be needed. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working. Also, take a look at what IRP or Apportioned Registration is.

Companies under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation must comply with specific regulations when it comes to their federally-mandated workforce. The DOT mandates that Return-to-Duty drug tests are conducted following any one of these three incidents:

  • A positive drug test
  • is an infraction of a particular drug rule
  • , a violation of an alcohol rule. Also, visit the Website link.

More Information About Drug Treatment & Rehabilitation Programs

Once the SAP has declared an employee fit to return to work, the Return-to-Duty test must be taken under direct supervision. This is to ensure that test results are not tampered with in any way. The SAP will have determined what treatments, if any, are necessary before taking the RTD test—importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

Unannounced follow-up tests may be conducted on employees at later dates to ensure that drug use does not recur after treatment. Among individuals occupying safety-sensitive positions, the Substance Abuse Professional needs to direct at least six additional tests in the first 12 months after they have returned to work. Nonetheless, this number can be increased if needed and can even last up to five years. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

What’s the Difference Between Pre-Employment Tests & an RTD?

Return To Duty testing is administered after an employee has received a favorable or non-negative test result that violated the drug and alcohol program. Before taking this test, they must complete the initial steps of the return-to-duty process, such as completing any recommended counseling programs. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

Unlike pre-employment drug tests, RTDs are closely monitored to ensure their accuracy and integrity; someone of the same gender as the employee will remain with them throughout the entire testing procedure. This ensures that all results are valid and have not been tampered with in any way. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointedViolations?

Can Follow-Up Tests Replace Random Testing?

Random tests and follow-up tests are not interchangeable. Random testing must be conducted under direct observation, while a follow-up test requires the employee to be observed directly. As such, even though an employee may have a regular follow-up testing schedule, they still need to be included in the random testing pool like all other drivers. That means they must complete any selections made in addition to their scheduled follow-up tests. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

What DOT Violation Behaviors Require the Return To Duty Process?

These DOT violation behaviors will involve a return to duty processes taking place:

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Refusing to take a drug/alcohol test
  • Using a controlled substance illegally
  • Having illegal drugs while operating a vehicle on duty
  • Engaging in reckless driving, excessive speeding, and other related violations.
  • Violating hours of service regulations set out by the DOT. What is Unified Carrier Registration?
  • They are falsifying medical certificates or driver qualification records.
  • They are not adhering to hazardous material handling regulations.
  • They are not following safety requirements for transporting people or cargo.

Summary: What Is the Return To Duty Process?

  • If a truck driver fails a DOT drug or alcohol test, they must be immediately removed from all safety-sensitive functions. You must visit the Website link.
  • The next step is for the driver to receive an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.
  • Upon successful completion of the SAP evaluation, the driver will have to take part in a prescribed drug and alcohol abuse program.
  • Following this, the driver may be eligible for a Return To Duty (RTD) test, after which they can resume their driving career if they pass.
Related tags
Explore Filing Options

Let's Talk