Policy GBECA: Alcohol and Drug Testing

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this Policy is to outline the responsibilities of employees, supervisors and managers with regard to alcohol and drug testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions in accordance with United States Department of Transportation regulations, issued under the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991.


The Policy applies to all “safety-sensitive” employees employed by the Town of Amherst and Amherst Pelham Regional School District,hereafter referred to as the “Employer.”


Words or phrases used in this Policy are defined in 49 CFR 382.107or, if not defined in that section, 49 CFE 40.3, 40.73, 386.2 and 390.5


For the purposes of this policy, safety-sensitive shall refer to all employees required by the Employer to obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and Massachusetts 7D License.

Policy Regarding Alcohol and Drug Testing

  1. It is the policy of the Employer to comply fully with the Federal regulations mandating pre-employment (controlled substances only), random, reasonable suspicion and post-accident alcohol and drug testing in accordance with regulations issued by the US Department of Transportation. This Policy generally explains the requirements of the regulations, and the Employer’s application of them to the CDL and Massachusetts 7D License workforce.
  2. The performance of safety-sensitive functions is prohibited by employees having a breath alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or greater as indicated by an alcohol breath test; by employees using alcohol or within four (4) hours after using alcohol; and by employees in the possession of any medication containing alcohol unless the package seal is unbroken.
  3. Use of controlled substances by drivers covered by the Policy is prohibited, except when the use is pursuant to the instructions of a physician who has advised the driver that the substance does not adversely affect the driver’s ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.
  4. A driver is performing a safety-sensitive function at the following times:
    1. All time on Town or School property, public property, or other property waiting to be dispatched or to drive.
    2. All time inspecting, servicing or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle at any time.
    3. All driving time.
    4. All time other than driving time in any commercial motor vehicle.
    5. All time loading or unloading a 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 the giving of receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded.
    6. All time spent performing driver requirements relating to accidents.
    7. All time repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled vehicle.


Types of Tests
To the extent practicable, all tests will be conducted during employees’ normally scheduled work hours. The following tests are required:

  • Pre-employment (Pre-use). All applicants for employment in positions requiring a CDL and Massachusetts 7D License are subject to screening for controlled substances, or candidates for transfer or promotion to such a position (pre-use) are subject to screening for improper use of controlled substances.
  • Post-Accident. An accident is defined as an incident involving a commercial motor vehicle in which there is either a fatality, an injury treated away from the scene, or a vehicle being required to be towed from the scene. Tests will be conducted after accidents on drivers in Employer vehicles in an accident where a citation for a moving traffic violation was given the driver, and for all fatal accidents even if the driver is not cited for a moving traffic violation. Alcohol tests should be conducted within 2 hours, but in no case more than 8 hours after the accident. Employees must refrain from all alcohol use until the test is complete. Post-accident drug tests must be conducted within 32 hours.
  • Reasonable Suspicion. Tests will be conducted when a supervisor or manager observes behavior or appearance suggests alcohol or drug use, a reasonable suspicion test must be conducted. If a test cannot be administered, the driver must be removed from performing safety-sensitive duties. Testing for substance abuse may occur at any time upon suspicion. Reasonable suspicion testing may only be conducted after the supervisor has consulted with the Maintenance Director for School employees or the Superintendent of Public Works for Municipal employees, or his/her designee.
  • Random. Tests will be conducted on a random, unannounced basis just before, during or after performance of safety-sensitive functions for alcohol, or at any time for drugs. Each year, the number of random alcohol tests conducted by the Employer must equal at least 25% of all the safety-sensitive drivers. Random drug tests conducted by the Employer must equal at least 50% of all safety-sensitive drivers.
  • Return to Duty and Follow-up. Tests will be conducted when an individual who has violated the prohibited alcohol and drug standards returns to performing safety-sensitive duties. Follow-up testing is unannounced and at least six (6) tests must be conducted in the first twelve (12) months after a driver returns to duty. Follow-up testing may be extended for up to sixty (60) months following the return to duty.

Conducting Tests


  • DOT rules require breath testing using evidential breath testing (EBT) devices. Two (2) breath tests are required to determine if a person has a prohibited alcohol concentration. A screening test is conducted first. Any result less than 0.02 alcohol concentration is considered a “negative” test. If the alcohol concentration result is of 0.02 or greater, a second, confirmation test must be conducted.


  • Drug testing is conducted by analyzing a driver’s urine specimen, and must be conducted through a US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) certified facility. Specimen collection procedures and chain of custody requirements will ensure that the specimen’s security, proper identification and integrity are not compromised.
  • DOT rules require a split specimen procedure. Each urine specimen will be subdivided into two (2) bottles labeled as primary and slot. Both bottles will be sent to the laboratory. Only the primary specimen will be opened and used for the urinalysis. The split specimen will remain sealed at the laboratory. If the analysis of the primary specimen confirms the presence of illegal controlled substances, the driver will have 72 hours to request that the split specimen be sent to another DHHS certified laboratory for analysis.
  • All urine specimens will be analyzed for the following drugs: Marijuana (THC metabolite), Cocaine, Amphetamines, Opiates (including heroin), Phencyclidine (PCP).
  • Testing will be conducted using a two-stage process. First, a screening test will be performed. If the test is positive for one or more of the drugs, a confirmation test will be performed for each identified drug. Sophisticated testing requirements ensure that over-the-counter medications or preparations are not reported as positive results.
  • All drug tests will be reviewed and interpreted by a physician designated as a Medical Review Officer (MRO) before they are reported to the employer. If the laboratory reports a positive result to the MRO, the MRO will contact the driver and conduct an interview to determine if there is an alternative medical explanation for the drugs found in the urine specimen. For all the drugs listed above, except PCP, there are some limited, legitimate medical uses that may explain a positive test result. If the MRO determines that the drug use is legitimate, the test will be reported to the Employer as a negative result.
  • Refusal to Submit to an Alcohol or Drug Test and the Consequences. Refusal to submit (to an alcohol or controlled substances test) means that a driver 1) fails to provide adequate breath for testing without a valid medical explanation after he or she has received notice of the requirement for breath testing in accordance with the provisions of this Policy, 2) fails to provide adequate urine for controlled substances testing without a valid medical explanation after he or she has received notice of the requirement for urine testing in accordance with the provisions of this Policy, or 3) engages in conduct that clearly obstructs the testing process.

Employees who refuse to submit to an alcohol or drug test will not be allowed to perform safety-sensitive functions. Employees who refuse to submit to a test will be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.

Consequences of Alcohol/Drug Misuse

  • Safety-sensitive employees who have any alcohol concentration (defined as 0.02 or greater) who are tested just before, during or just after performing safety-sensitive functions will be removed from performing such duties for 24 hours, and placed on administrative leave without pay. 
  • Disciplinary action shall be imposed upon an employee whose alcohol test reveals any alcohol concentration of 0.02 and above.
  • Drivers who engage in prohibited alcohol or drug conduct, that is, who test positive for alcohol use of 0.02 or greater or drug use, shall be immediately removed from safety-sensitive functions, and placed on administrative leave without pay.
  • Drivers who are serving a probationary period will be terminated immediately. Non-probationary drivers will be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge. Non-probationary drivers who are not terminated will be required to comply with Section 3 below. Non-probationary drivers who fail to complete the requirements of Section 3 will be terminated.
  • Drivers who engage in prohibited alcohol or drug conduct who wish to continue employment with the Employer must be evaluated by a substance abuse professional and comply with any treatment recommendations to assist them with an alcohol or drug problem. The payment for any recommended treatment will be strictly at the expense of the employee (or his/her health insurance program, if applicable). Employees referred to a rehabilitation program will be placed on nonoccupational sick leave or medical leave without pay status during the treatment period, whichever is appropriate.
  • Only drivers who have been evaluated by a substance abuse professional, who comply with any recommended treatment, who have taken a return to duty test with a result less than 0.02 for alcohol or are drug free, and who are then subject to announced follow-up tests, may return to work.
  • Any driver who tests positive for either alcohol or drug use in a Post-accident, Random, or Follow-up test (after returning to safety-sensitive duty), will be placed immediately on administrative leave without pay. If a driver tests positive during a Return-to-duty test, he/she will continue on administrative leave without pay until a subsequent Return-to-duty test provides a negative result, and the employment status of said driver will be subject to review. If a driver is referred by his supervisor or manager for Reasonable Suspicion testing, the driver will be placed immediately on administrative leave without pay upon receipt of the referral and before the test is conducted.
  • If a driver who has been placed on administrative leave without pay tests negative for alcohol or drug use in the split specimen procedure, he/she shall be reimbursed for the split specimen testing and all pay and benefits lost during the administrative leave period.


  • All current and new employees will receive written information about the testing requirements and how and where they may receive assistance for alcohol or drug use. All employees must receive a copy of this Policy and sign the Confirmation of Receipt (Attachment A). This Policy will be posted on employee bulletin boards and will be available to all affected employees.
  • All supervisory and management personnel in the Maintenance and Transportation Department of the Schools and the Department of Public Works must attend at least two (2) hours of training on alcohol and drug use symptoms and indicators used in making determinations for reasonable suspicion testing. Supervisors and managers will be instructed on the detection of abuse problems and the enforcement of the testing policy. Periodic, ongoing training will also occur after implementation of the policy.
  • Educational information will be made available periodically which will focus on a) the potentially dangerous effects of alcohol and drug use and abuse on an individual’s health, work and personal life; b) signs/symptoms of an alcohol or drug problem; c) methods of intervening when an alcohol or drug problem is suspected; d) the procedures associated with pre-employment drug screening and “reasonable suspicion” testing; e) the effects on job performance measured in loss of productivity; and f) the potential safety hazards presented to the individual employee, other employees and the public.
  • All recruitment advertising and promotional notices for CDL and Massachusetts 7D License drivers will include the statement “Drug/alcohol screening is a condition of employment” at the bottom of the advertisement/posting with the EEO statement.
  • All final candidates for CDL and Massachusetts 7D License employment will be given a copy of this Policy, and be given the opportunity to read the policy in its entirety.

Record Keeping

  • The Employer will keep detailed records of its alcohol and drug misuse prevention program.
  • Driver alcohol and drug testing records are confidential to the extent required by law and shall be kept in a medical file apart from personnel records. Test results and other confidential information may only be released to the employer, the substance abuse professional, the MRO, and any fact finder in a proceeding resulting from, or in connection with, the testing program.

Pre-Employment References

  • The Employer must obtain and review the following information from each employer that the prospective driver worked for, in a safety-sensitive position, during the previous two (2) years: information about a test in which the employee’s blood alcohol was 0.02 or greater; information about a positive drug test; and information about any refusal to participate in the alcohol and drug testing program.
  • The prospective employee must provide the former employer with a written release allowing the release of this information or he/she will not be considered for employment.
  • If the previous employer indicates that a positive result was received, or that the employee refused to participate when selected for an alcohol or drug test, the applicant may not be appointed unless he/she has already consulted with a substance abuse professional, already received recommended treatment, and subsequently tested negative in a return to duty test for the former employer.
  • The Employer must provide the same information to subsequent employers of current employees when provided with a written release.


Questions about this Policy should be referred to the employee’s Supervisor, Maintenance Director, Superintendent of Public Works,Superintendent of Schools, and/or Town Manager

Administration of Policy

The Superintendent of Schools shall administer this Policy for School employees and the Town Manager shall administer this Policy for Municipal employees. The Superintendent of Schools and/or Town Manager may delegate the responsibility for such administration.

Rules and Regulations

The Town Manager and/or Superintendent of Schools may adopt rules and regulations, in accordance with federal law, to implement this policy.


Region Voted to Approve: 7/9/96
Amherst Voted to Approve: 7/16/96
Pelham Voted to Approve:
Effective Date: 7/9/96


GBECA - Attachment A



Employee Confirmation of Receipt

I hereby certify that I was given a copy of the Alcohol and Drug Testing Policy, and have been given an opportunity to ask questions of my supervisor about the content of such policy.

Employee’s Printed Name


Employee’s Signature



GBECA - Attachment B




I, understand that the medical examination that I am about to receive includes:

  • A urine test for the presence of drugs
  • Such other appropriate test to determine the presence of drugs.

I hereby give my consent to the Employer’s certified laboratory oragency to perform these tests. I understand that if I decline to signthis consent, and thereby decline to submit a sample for the test, thetest will not be completed. The Employer will be notified and myapplication for employment will not be further processed.

I further consent to the release of the results to the Employer.



Specimen Number: Signed:

Date: Witness:


GBECA -Attachment C






(Name, Social Security Number)

understand that the medical examination that I am about to receive includes;

  • An evidential breath test for the presence of alcohol
  • A urine test for the presence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Such other appropriate test to determine the presence of drugs and/or alcohol

I hereby give my consent to the Employer’s certified laboratory or agency to perform these tests. I understand that if I decline to submit a sample for the test, I may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination from employment.

I further consent to the release of the results to the Employer.



Specimen Number: Signed:

Date: Witness: