5202 Procedure – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Mandated Drug and Alcohol Testing Program

Bellingham Public Schools employees who operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and are required to hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in connection with their district job duties (“drivers”) are subject to the district’s mandated drug and alcohol testing program as set forth in administrative policy 5202 and these procedures. These procedures are intended to meet the requirements of federal law, including regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They supplement, but do not displace, the district’s Drug-Free Workplace policy 5201.


The district’s human resources department is responsible for the administration and implementation of these procedures. Drivers with questions about this procedure should contact the assistant superintendent of human resources or designee.




These procedures shall be interpreted and administered in accordance with the requirements and definitions set forth in DOT and FMCSA regulations on alcohol and controlled substances, including marijuana (cannabis), testing of employees who operate commercial motor vehicles, including any amendments to those regulations. Those regulations are subject to change at any time without prior notice to drivers or other district employees. If these procedures conflict with DOT and/or FMCSA regulations, the DOT and FMCSA regulations will control.



1. Employees in the following positions are “drivers” subject to these procedures:

a. Bus Driver

b. Relief Driver

c. Utility Driver

d. Driver/Trainer

e. Mechanics

f. Shop Foreman

g. Service Specialist

h. Dispatcher

i. Transportation Director

j. Transportation Operations Supervisor

k. Maintenance Specialist: Equipment Operator

l. Any other employee whose job duties require operation of a commercial motor vehicle.

2. All covered drivers will be provided with a copy of this procedure and its accompanying policy regarding testing procedures. Covered drivers must sign a statement certifying that they have received a copy of this policy and procedure. The district may also distribute additional materials to educate drivers on the effects of alcohol and drug use and the prohibitions set forth in this policy/procedure.




Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) means a motor vehicle that: (a) has a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds; (b) has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds; or (c) is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.


Controlled Substance prohibitions contained in these procedures apply to all controlled substances as defined by federal law, but controlled substances testing is limited to marijuana (cannabis), cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP).


Driver means any person who operates a CMV as part of their job duties for the district.  For purposes of pre-employment/pre-duty testing, the term also includes a prospective employee for a position that involves operation of a CMV.


Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a licensed physician responsible for receiving, interpreting, and evaluating laboratory results generated by the district’s drug testing program, together with medical history and any other relevant biomedical information.


“Refuse to Submit” (to an alcohol or controlled substances test) means that a driver:

  1. Fails to appear for any test within a reasonable time after being directed to do so by the district;
  2. Fails to remain at the testing site until the test is complete;
  3. Fails to provide a breath or urine test sample, when such failure is not attributable to a genuine inability to provide a specimen;
  4. Engages in conduct that clearly obstructs the testing process; or
  5. Is reported by the MRO as having an adulterated or substituted test result.


“Safety-Sensitive Function” means all time from the time a driver begins work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time they are relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work. Such functions include:

  1. Driving or operating a CMV;
  2. Waiting to be dispatched;
  3. Inspecting, servicing, or conditioning a CMV;
  4. Repairing, obtaining assistance for, or remaining in attendance with a disabled CMV; or
  5. Supervising or participating in loading or unloading a CMV.



Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) means a person who evaluates employees who have

violated a DOT drug and alcohol regulation and makes recommendations concerning

education, treatment, follow-up testing and aftercare.


Drivers are subject to the following types of alcohol and controlled substances testing, as defined by and consistent with the FMCSA regulations:

a. Pre-employment

b. Post-accident testing

c. Random testing

d. Reasonable suspicion testing

e. Return-to-duty testing

f. Follow-up testing

  1. Pre-employment Testing

a. Controlled substances testing is required prior to the first time a driver performs a safety-sensitive function for the district. Both prospective employees who have been offered employment in positions involving the operation of CMVs and current employees reassigned to such positions are subject to pre-employment testing.  Employment or reassignment offers for driver positions will be conditioned on a verified negative controlled substances test.

b. The district may dispense with pre-employment controlled substances testing in cases where the applicant has undergone drug testing for another employer or prospective employer within the last thirty (30) days, subject to strict compliance with FMCSA regulations on such exceptions.

c. The district must obtain and review information on prior FMCSA-mandated alcohol and controlled substances testing from any employer for which the driver performed safety-sensitive functions in the previous two (2) years. Information concerning verified positive controlled substance tests, alcohol tests with positive results, and refusals to test must be obtained and reviewed no later than fourteen (14) days after the first time a driver performs safety-sensitive functions.  Prospective drivers are required, as a condition of employment, to provide the district with a release for such information.


2.  Post-Accident Testing

a. As soon as practicable following an accident involving a CMV, the district shall test each driver who was performing safety sensitive functions with respect to the vehicle at the time of the accident for alcohol and controlled substances, (a) if the accident involves the loss of human life, or (b) if the driver receives a traffic citation (within 8 hours for the purpose of alcohol testing and 32 hours for the purpose of controlled substance testing) and the accident involved bodily injury or disabling damage to a CMV. All such post-accident testing will be administered in accordance with 49 C.F.R. § 382.303.

b. Immediately following an accident, the driver must contact their supervisor or a district representative. The driver must remain available for testing, otherwise the district may consider the driver to have refused to submit to testing. This requirement should not be construed to require the delay of necessary medical attention for injured people following an accident or to prohibit a driver from leaving the scene of an accident for the period necessary to obtain assistance in responding to the accident or from obtaining necessary emergency medical care.

c. Alcohol and controlled substances testing should be conducted as soon as practicable following the accident. If an alcohol test is not administered within eight (8) hours following the accident or a controlled substances test is not administered within thirty-two (32) hours following an accident, the district shall cease attempts to administer the test.

d. The results of a breath or blood test for the use of alcohol or of a urine test for the use of controlled substances conducted by federal, state, and/or local officials having independent authority to conduct the test shall be considered to meet the requirements of this procedure if the results are released to the district.


3.  Random Testing

a. Annually the district will arrange for the unannounced random alcohol and controlled substances testing of its drivers. Fifty percent (50%) of the district’s drivers must be randomly selected for controlled substances testing each year, and ten percent (10%) of its drivers for alcohol testing. Alcohol testing under this program will take place just prior to, during, or immediately after the driver engages in a safety-sensitive function for the district. Random testing rates are subject to change by the FMCSA.

b. Drivers will be randomly selected so that each driver will have an equal chance of being tested each time selections are made. Random tests shall be unannounced and spread reasonably throughout the calendar year.

c. Drivers selected for random testing must proceed immediately to the testing site upon notification of being selected. If the driver is performing a safety-sensitive function, they must cease performing the function and proceed to testing as soon as possible.

d. Drivers will be randomly tested for alcohol only while they are performing safety-sensitive functions, immediately prior to performing safety-sensitive functions or immediately after performing safety-sensitive functions.

e. In the event a driver who is selected for a random alcohol and/or controlled substances test is absent, the district may select another driver for testing or keep the original selection confidential and administer the test upon the driver’s return, if the driver is expected to be available for testing during the current designated testing period.


4.  Reasonable Suspicion Testing

a. A driver must submit to an alcohol or controlled substances test when the district reasonably suspects that the driver has violated alcohol or controlled substances prohibitions.

b. The reasonable suspicion determination must be made by a trained supervisor or district administrator, and the determination must be based on specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors of the driver. For the purpose of controlled substance testing, this may include indications of the chronic and withdrawal effects of controlled substances.

c. A written record shall be made of the observations leading to a reasonable suspicion test and signed by the supervisor or district administrator who made the observations. Such record shall be made within twenty-four (24) hours of the observations or before the results of the test are released, whichever is earlier.

d. Drivers will be directed to undergo reasonable suspicion testing for alcohol only while performing safety-sensitive functions, immediately prior to performing safety sensitive functions, or immediately after performing safety sensitive functions.

e. An alcohol test shall be administered as soon as practicable following the observations, and the district shall cease attempts to test if it is not administered within eight (8) hours.

f. No driver shall, under any circumstances, be permitted to perform safety-sensitive functions after a determination that there is reasonable suspicion they are under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. A driver reasonably suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances shall not perform safety-sensitive functions until either, as appropriate, an alcohol test is administered and the driver’s concentration measures less than the standard established by the FMCSA or twenty-four (24) hours have elapsed since the determination of reasonable suspicion or until a negative controlled substances test is verified.


5.  Return-to-Duty and Follow-up Testing

a. This section does not create a right for a driver who has violated this policy and/or procedure to return to their job duties. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the particular case, an employee who has violated this policy and/or procedure may or may not be returned to duty.

b. If the district continues to employ a driver who has tested positive for alcohol or controlled substances or has otherwise violated Policy 5202, this procedure or the DOT and FMCSA regulations, the driver will be subject to return-to-duty testing before they can again perform safety-sensitive functions. In appropriate cases, the driver may also be subject to follow-up testing.

c. Return-to-duty and follow-up testing shall be conducted in accordance with DOT regulations (49 C.F.R. Part 40, Subpart O).

(1) Return-to-duty testing

(a) After engaging in prohibited conduct involving alcohol, the driver shall undergo a return-to-duty alcohol test indicating a breath alcohol concentration of less than the FMCSA standard before returning to duty requiring the performance of a safety-sensitive function.

(b) After engaging in prohibited conduct regarding controlled substances, the driver shall undergo a return-to-duty controlled substances test with a verified negative result before returning to duty requiring the performance of a safety-sensitive function.

(c) The driver must also be evaluated by a substance abuse professional (SAP) and participate in any assistance program prescribed. The district must obtain a written assurance from the SAP that the employee has been evaluated and has complied with any prescribed rehabilitation.

(2) Follow-up testing

(a) Following a determination by a SAP that a driver is in need of assistance in resolving problems associated with alcohol misuse and/or use of controlled substances, the district shall ensure that the driver is subject to unannounced follow-up alcohol and/or controlled substances testing as directed by the SAP. At least six (6) tests shall be conducted during the first twelve (12) months following the driver’s return to duty.

(b) Follow-up alcohol testing shall be conducted only when the driver is performing safety-sensitive functions, just before the driver is to perform safety-sensitive functions, or just after the driver has ceased performing safety-sensitive functions.



Specimen collection, laboratory analysis, MRO review and related procedural aspects of alcohol and controlled substance tests shall be managed in accordance with the DOT requirements set forth in 49 C.F.R. Part 40.



  1. The district will pay for and compensate drivers for their time and mileage for the following alcohol and/or initial controlled substances tests: random, reasonable suspicion and post-accident.
  2. Drivers will be responsible for taking the following alcohol and/or controlled substances tests on their own time and at their own cost: pre-employment (unless a current employee is being involuntarily transferred to a driver position), return-to duty and optional tests of split samples.
  3. SAP services shall be delivered at no cost to the employee through the district’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Costs for any treatment programs and follow up testing shall be the driver’s responsibility.




Records collected under this policy will be secured and retained with controlled access for the time periods established by DOT and FMCSA regulations (49 C.F.R. §§ 382.401-.413).  The data collected under this policy will be reported as required by the FMCSA regulations.



Educational materials that explain the requirements of this policy and the federal program will be distributed to each driver hired or transferred into a position covered by this policy. Each driver, after receiving a copy of the materials, will sign a certificate of receipt and the district will maintain the original of the receipt. The collective bargaining representative of the drivers, if any, will be notified of the availability of this information. The educational materials will include:

  1. A copy of this procedure and the accompanying policy;
  2. The name of the person designated to answer questions about the materials;
  3. The categories of employees covered by the policy;
  4. A description of safety-sensitive functions, so that drivers will know which part of their tasks will be covered by this policy;
  5. A specific description of conduct prohibited by this policy and the federal program;
  6. The circumstances under which a driver is subject to testing;
  7. The procedures used in the testing program, especially those that protect the driver and the integrity of the testing processes, safeguard the validity of the test results, and ensure that those results are attributed to the correct driver;
  8. The requirement that drivers must submit to testing required by this policy, procedure and the federal program, and a description of what constitutes refusal to submit to required testing and the consequences of refusal;
  9. The consequences for drivers who violate this policy, procedure and the federal program, including immediate removal from conducting safety-sensitive functions;
  10. The consequences for drivers found to have positive alcohol tests; and
  11. Information about the effects of alcohol and controlled substances on an individual’s health, work and personal life and methods of intervening when a problem with alcohol or a controlled substance is suspected, including confrontation, referral to the staff assistance program and referral to management.
  12. The requirement that the following personal information collected and maintained under this part shall be reported to the Commercial Driver’s License and Alcohol Clearinghouse:

a. A verified positive, adulterated or substituted drug test result;

b. A positive alcohol confirmation test;

c. A refusal to submit to any required test under this procedure;

d. An employer’s report of actual knowledge of on-duty alcohol use, pre-duty alcohol use, alcohol use following an accident and controlled substance use;

e. A SAP report of the successful completion of the return-to-duty process;

f. A negative return-to-duty test; and

g. An employer’s report of completion of follow-up testing.

Supervisors designated to determine if reasonable suspicion exists that a driver is under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances must have at least 60 minutes of training on alcohol misuse and at least 60 minutes of training on use of controlled substances. The training shall cover the physical, behavioral, speech and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances.

The employed driver who violates this policy, procedure or the federal regulations will be informed of resources available for evaluation and resolving problems associated with the misuse of alcohol and use of controlled substances, including the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of SAPs and counseling and treatment programs. Costs incurred by the driver for evaluation and/or rehabilitation are the driver’s responsibility (other policies may apply).

Adopted/Previous Revisions: 03/06/09; 1/24/17
Updated: 6/4/2021