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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is required to go through the DOT Return to Duty SAP process?

All DOT regulated safety-sensitive employees/candidates employed in the aviation, railroad, public transit, trucking, maritime, and pipeline industries who have violated federal DOT drug and alcohol testing rules. (e.g., positive test result, refusal to test)

I was terminated after a violation. Do I still need to go through the Return-to-Duty SAP process?

Yes. Once you have violated the federal drug and alcohol testing regulations, you are considered ineligible to perform safety-sensitive duties for any employer until you have completed the SAP process.

If I test positive on a DOT Drug or Alcohol test, can't I just retake the test?

If you are a DOT mandated employee, and you receive a positive test, you must be removed from safety-sensitive duty until you complete the Return-to-Duty SAP process.

How long will the entire SAP Process take?

The time it takes to complete the DOT Return-to-Duty SAP process varies. The SAP will make a clinical assessment and recommend treatment and/or education based on your individual needs. Note: The SAP must make a recommendation for some level of care per DOT CFR 49 Part 40 Subpart O.

Are Return to Duty and Follow-Up testing required?

Yes, you must test negative on a Return-to-Duty Drug/Alcohol screening before returning to DOT safety-sensitive work. You are also subject to unannounced follow-up testing for a period of 1 to 5 years according to a plan determined by the SAP and provided to your employer.

What if I quit my job and now work somewhere else?

If you are a DOT safety-sensitive covered employee with a failed test or refused to test (DOT violation) and move to another employer, you are still required to successfully complete the DOT Return to Duty SAP process before returning to any DOT safety sensitive position. (Failing to comply with the SAP process can result in fines for both you and your new employer.)

What if I applied for a job and I was not hired?

If you are a DOT safety-sensitive covered employee with a failed or refused to test (DOT violation) you are still required to complete the DOT Return to Duty SAP process. You are unable to work in any DOT safety-sensitive position until you have successfully completed this program.


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