Is a SAP evaluation required when an employee under the DOT regulations?

Yes, a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) evaluation is required when an employee violates the Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol regulations. The DOT mandates that any employee who violates these regulations must be immediately removed from safety-sensitive functions and must consult with a SAP before they can return to their duties.

The role of the SAP in this process is critical. They are responsible for conducting a comprehensive face-to-face assessment and clinical evaluation to determine what level of assistance the employee needs in resolving problems associated with alcohol use or prohibited drug use.

After the initial SAP evaluation, the SAP will recommend a course of education and/or treatment. The employee must then complete the recommended course before the SAP conducts a follow-up evaluation. Only after this follow-up evaluation, if the SAP determines the employee has complied with their recommendations, can the employee be considered for returning to DOT safety-sensitive duties.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) Rule 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.311 pertains to the records that employers need to maintain for alcohol and drug testing. According to this rule, employers are required to keep detailed and accurate records of their alcohol and drug testing programs.


DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.311


Here’s a brief summary of what the regulation states:

Records related to the collection process: Employers must maintain records of documents related to the drug testing process, such as the chain of custody forms, calibration documentation for EBTs, etc.

Records related to the driver’s test results: This includes the employer’s copy of the alcohol test form, including the results, the employer’s copy of the drug test chain of custody and control form, documents sent by the MRO to the employer, copies of any administrative determinations.

  1. Records related to other violations: Employers must keep records of any employee refusals to take required alcohol or drug tests, and any documentation of the circumstances leading to a decision to test an employee.
  2. Records related to evaluations: Documents generated in connection with decisions to administer reasonable suspicion alcohol or drug tests, documents generated in connection with decisions on post-accident tests, and documents verifying existence of a medical explanation of the inability of a covered employee to provide adequate breath or urine specimen for testing should be maintained.
  3. Records related to education and training: Records pertaining to substance abuse professional’s (SAP’s) credentials and all records related to the education and training of BATs, STTs, and collectors should be kept.
  4. Records related to drug testing: The employer must maintain copies of all annual MIS statistical summaries and any reports submitted to DOT.
  5. Record retention: The duration for which these records need to be maintained varies depending on the type of record.
Categorized as DOT

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