Drug Testing of Truck Driving Program Students
Administrative Procedure 3.405
All references to the D.O.T. Drug and Alcohol Policy policies set forth may be verified and accessed through the Federal Motor Carriers Regulations websites at:
The U. S. Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) has regulations, which govern the use of drugs and alcohol by commercial motor vehicle drivers, and which also require Elgin Community College to conduct mandatory drug and alcohol testing of drivers at the times and under the conditions described in this procedure. These regulations apply to student drivers in the Truck Driving Program.
The College will comply fully with the D.O.T. regulations governing drug and alcohol use and testing, and those requirements have been incorporated into this procedure. In the event the D.O.T. regulations are amended, this procedure shall be deemed to have been amended automatically at the time without the need for redrafting this procedure. In such a case, the College reserves the right to apply the amended requirements without notice.
Under this procedure, drug and alcohol testing will be conducted on any current and/or prospective driver who may be required to operate a motor vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 26,000 pounds in interstate or intrastate commerce.
All prospective student drivers will be notified of the College’s drug and alcohol use and testing procedure at the time they interview to be accepted into the ECC Truck Driving Program.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, or any subsequent changes in the regulations, shall supersede the Administrative Procedure 3.405 whenever changes to the regulations go into effect.
1. Definitions of Terms
For purposes of this procedure and the College’s drug and alcohol testing program, the following definitions apply:
College business includes, but is not limited to, student learning activities performed on or in College property, including use of a College vehicle. The term also includes meals, breaks and rest times during scheduled class times
Safety-sensitive function means all of the activities as described in FMCSR’s 49 CFR 392.40, 392.41, and 395.2(1) through (9).
Refusing to be tested means any of the following: failing to provide an adequate urine specimen for a drug test without a documented valid medical explanation provided by an appropriately licensed physician; failing to provide adequate breath for an alcohol test without a documented valid medical explanation provided by an appropriately licensed physician; failing to submit to a test as directed; or engaging in any conduct which clearly obstructs the testing process.
An alcohol test will be considered positive when the alcohol concentration level registers any detectable amount.
2. Prohibited Drug and Alcohol Use and Activities
The goal of the College’s procedure and the testing of student drivers is to ensure a drug- and alcohol-free transportation system and educational environment, and to reduce and help eliminate drug and alcohol-related accidents, injuries, fatalities, and damage to property.
The following conduct is prohibited and a violation will result in immediate expulsion:
- Student drivers are prohibited from using, being under the influence of, or possessing illegal drugs.
- Student drivers are prohibited from using or being under the influence of legal drugs that are being used illegally.
- Student drivers are prohibited from using or being under the influence of legal drugs whose use can adversely affect the ability of the student driver to perform tasks safely.
- Student drivers are prohibited from selling, buying, soliciting to buy or sell, transporting, or possessing illegal drugs while on College time or property.
- Student drivers are prohibited from using alcohol within (8) hours of driving or performing any other safety-sensitive function.
- Student drivers are prohibited from using or being under the influence of alcohol at any time while driving or performing any safety-sensitive function.
- Student drivers are prohibited from possessing any amount of alcohol (including possessing medications which contain alcohol) while attending class.
Testing positive for drugs and/or blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above 0.04%; failing to submit to a drug and/or alcohol test as directed by the College; refusing to be tested for drugs and/or alcohol; or violation of any of the above-prohibited uses and activities will result in immediate expulsion from the program.
A registered student convicted of an alcohol or a drug-related driving offense occurring outside of their college instruction, must report the conviction immediately to the Program Director. The conviction will result in immediate expulsion from the program.
Appeals of disciplinary actions should be filed through the College Complaint Procedure. (See Administrative Procedure 4.401)
3. Tests Required
In general, the College is required by the D.O.T. to conduct tests under the four following conditions or times:
- Pre-safety Sensitive Function Testing
This test is required before any student driver will be allowed to perform a safety-sensitive function in the truck driving class. All offers by the College to allow the student to attend truck-driving class are conditioned upon the prospective student:
- Taking and passing a drug test.
- Passing the D.O.T. physical exam required for student drivers and complying with any other conditions or requirements of which the College advises the applicant at the time of the offer.
- Reasonable Suspicion Testing
Each student driver is required to submit to a drug and/or alcohol test whenever the College has reasonable suspicion that the student driver has used drugs and/or alcohol in violation of D.O.T. regulations and/or this procedure.
Reasonable suspicion may exist when a student driver’s appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors indicate drugs and/or alcohol use, or the chronic and withdrawal effects of drugs. Such observations must be personally observed and documented by at least one College official who has received training covering the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of the probable drug and/or alcohol use.
Whenever a student driver is notified that there is a reasonable suspicion to be tested, the student driver will be expected to report to the test or collection site within 8 hours. Student drivers who are required to submit to a reasonable suspicion test may need to be escorted by an agent of the College to the appropriate collection site for a drug and/or alcohol test.
A student who is required to take a reasonable suspicion test will not be allowed to attend class pending the results of the test.
A student driver whose reasonable suspicion test is positive or who fails or refuses to submit to a reasonable suspicion test, will be subject to immediate expulsion from the program.
- Post-accident Testing
A student driver who is performing a safety-sensitive function must submit to a post-accident drug and alcohol test as soon as possible after the occurrence of any accident that meets the description as outlined below in this section.
A student driver must always submit to a post-accident test that involves the death of a human being.
A student driver must submit to a post-accident test as soon as possible after an accident, whenever the student driver receives a citation for a moving violation involving the accident and either: a person is injured because of the accident and the injuries require immediate medical treatment away from the accident scene; or one or more motor vehicles involved in the accident incur disabling damage and must be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or another vehicle.
It is possible that a student driver will be directed to submit to a drug and /or alcohol test at the scene of the accident by a federal, state, or local law enforcement officer. Whenever a test is conducted by a law enforcement officer, the driver, in the absence of or unavailability of a tutor, is required to contact the College with the name, badge number, and the telephone number of the officer who conducted the test.
Whenever a student driver is involved in a D.O.T. reportable accident and is not tested for drugs or alcohol by a law enforcement official, the student driver, in the absence of or unavailability of a tutor, is required to immediately report the accident to the College and follow procedures as directed by College officials.
A student driver who tests positive for drugs and/or alcohol; who refuses or fails to submit to a post-accident drug or alcohol test as required; who delays reporting to the test site; or who otherwise fails to follow instructions, will be subject to immediate expulsion from the Truck Driving Program.
- Random Testing
The College is required to test student drivers on a random basis, and all such tests will be unannounced. All tests will be conducted according to the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.
Under the College’s random selection process, every student driver will have an equal chance of being selected each and every time the selection is conducted. Appropriate safeguards are present to ensure that the identity of individual student drivers cannot be determined prior to or at the time of their selection.
Whenever a student driver is randomly selected to be tested, the student driver will be notified and instructed to report to the collection site immediately.
A student driver who tests positive, or who refuses to submit to a test or who fails to report for the test as directed, is considered medically unqualified and will be subject to immediate expulsion from the Truck Driver Program.
4. Controlled Substances
Although this procedure prohibits the use of any controlled substances not lawfully prescribed, any drug test required under this procedure will analyze an individual’s urine to test the presence of the following substances:
- MARIJUANA (See note below)
Note: Though marijuana currently is legal in Illinois and many states, the U.S. Government and the DOT continue to consider it a banned substance for truck drivers. Therefore, it remains a prohibited substance and any traces of marijuana during a drug screen will be considered a positive drug test and subject to withdrawal from the program. Reinstatement will follow the same procedure as with any controlled substance.
5. Alcohol Testing Methodology
All alcohol testing required under this procedure will be carried out by a breath alcohol technician (“BAT”) trained to proficiency in the operation of the evidential breath testing device (“EBT”) being used by the College or its agent for alcohol testing.
Law enforcement officers who have been certified by state or local governments to conduct breath alcohol testing will be considered qualified BATs under this procedure.
6. Alcohol Tests
The College will follow all driver requirements the DOT and FMCSA has set forth in FMCSR’s 49 CFR 392.40, 392.41 and 395.2(1) through (9), regarding alcohol testing.
In the event that the student driver provides an adequate breath specimen and the initial test registers an alcohol concentration level that is less than any detectable level, the test report will be reported as “negative” and no additional test will be required at that time.
The D.O.T. prohibits any student driver whose confirmatory test registers any detectable level but less than 0.04, from performing or from continuing to perform any safety-sensitive function for 24 hours. A student driver who, after providing an adequate breath specimen, has a confirmatory test, which registers any detectable level but less than 0.04, will be suspended from class for a minimum of 24 hours and may be subject to additional action by the Dean of Students and the College, up to and including expulsion from the Truck Driver Program. A student driver who, after providing an adequate breath specimen, has a confirmatory test, which registers 0.04 or higher will be subject to immediate expulsion from the Truck Driving Program.
7. Reinstatement Procedure After A Positive Drug or Alcohol Test
If you test positive for drug(s) or alcohol reading of .04% or above, refuse to test or have a verified adulterated or substituted test, the following procedure must be followed for reinstatement into the Truck Driving Program.
The student will be provided a list of Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP) in the area.
The student may not return until an evaluation by an SAP (at student expense) has been done and the student has complied with the prescribed treatment and passed a return-to-duty test which must be provided to the Program Director.
8. Drug Testing Methodology
To ensure the integrity and accuracy of each test, all specimen collection, analysis, and laboratory procedures will be conducted in accordance with D.O.T.’s procedural protocols and the safeguards set forth in Part 40 of Title 49 of the Federal Code of Regulations.**
This includes among other things:
- Procedures to ensure the correct identity of each driver.
- A strict chain-of-custody procedure to ensure that the specimen is not tampered with.
- The use of a laboratory which has been certified by the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA).
- The confirmation of an initial positive drug screen by a second analysis using the gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS).
- The College’s appointment of a qualified medical review officer (MRO) to review the drug test results before they are reported to the College’s designated representative.
- In general, student drivers will be permitted to give a urine specimen in privacy and without being observed by a collection site personnel. However, a student driver forfeits this right whenever there is reason to believe that he/she may alter or substitute a specimen.
All drug tests will be administered using the split sample method required by the D.O.T. Both bottles will be sent to the laboratory. One bottle will be analyzed as the student driver’s primary specimen. The second bottle will be held by the laboratory to be sent to another lab at the student driver’s request in the event that the primary specimen is verified as positive. In the event the primary specimen is verified as positive, the student driver will be notified either by the MRO or by the College of the positive test and will be given the option to have the second bottle sent to a different laboratory for analysis at the student driver’s expense. To exercise this option, the student driver must advise the MRO within 72 hours of being told that the primary specimen was positive.
Before being tested for drugs, student drivers will be given an opportunity to list on their copy of the chain-of-custody form any prescription and non-prescription medications being lawfully used by the student driver at the time. A “positive” drug test may be declared “negative” by the MRO if the student driver can prove with clear and convincing evidence that the drug which was used was prescribed by a licensed physician who is familiar with the student driver’s medical history and specific duties. The determination of this will be made by the MRO.
9. Drug and Alcohol Information
The College is required to provide educational materials for all student drivers, explaining the D.O.T. requirements and the College’s procedures to meet those requirements. In addition to this procedure, the College will provide student drivers with information concerning:
- The effects of drugs and alcohol on an individual’s health, work, and personal life.
- The signs and symptoms of a drug or alcohol problem.
- The methods of intervention when a problem does exist.
The results of all individual drug and alcohol tests will be kept in a secure location with controlled access.
All individual test results will be considered confidential. The release of test results will be in accordance with an individual student driver’s written authorization, or as is otherwise required by the D.O.T.’s regulations, or by other applicable federal or state law.