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DOT 49 CFR Part 40 New Rules to Take Effect Monday, January 1, 2018

By Andrew David Easler, Esq.

The DOT published its final rule on November 13, 2017 mandating several changes in the drug and alcohol testing programs affecting employers, collectors, laboratories, Consortium/Third Party Administrators, Medical Review Officers, and breath alcohol technicians which take full effect on Monday, January 1, 2018.

UPDATES APPLICABLE TO ALL SERVICE AGENTS

The highest priority for all service agents to be aware of is the mandatory subscription to the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy & Compliance (ODAPC) email updates. This ensures that all industry and regulatory changes get implemented quickly and effectively.

The second important update for every industry professional is a warning that the use of DOT intellectual property including trademarks and logos is strictly prohibited and the violation of this rule will likely result in a Public Interest Exclusion (PIE).

DOT URINE SPECIMEN COLLECTOR CHANGES

The most important individual update affecting urine specimen collectors is the change in shy bladder procedure. A shy bladder procedure occurs when an employee is unable to provide a sufficient specimen of at least 45 milliliters. This initiates a 3-hour monitoring period where the collector is required to ensure that the employee, also known as the donor, consumes only up to forty ounces of fluid in between attempts to provide a sufficient specimen.

Under the 2017 regulations, if the donor was unable to provide a sample by the end of the 3-hour monitoring period the collector would package up the final sample and remit it to the laboratory by courier regardless of volume. Under the 2018 version of the 49 CFR Part 40, collectors will simply make a note on the Federal Custody and Control Form (CCF) in the “Remarks” section that a sufficient sample was not obtained after the 3-hour period and continue with the standard procedure of notifying the appropriate parties and remitting their copies of the CCF.

In addition, the panels tested have changed and the CCF is undergoing some slight changes to reflect this. Collectors will notice that the new CCF will also remove the checkbox to the left of “DOT – Specify Agency” in Step 1. The new CCF’s must be fully implemented by July 1 of 2018; otherwise, collectors still using the old CCF after June 30 of 2018 must file a memorandum for the record per 49 CFR §40.205(b)(2). Please visit this page to learn more about these changes to the CCF.

DOT BREATH ALCOHOL TECHNICIAN CHANGES

There are no significant changes to the procedure for obtaining a breath sample or a saliva sample for alcohol testing under the 49 CFR Part 40. However, the list of approved evidential breath testing devices (EBT’s) and alcohol screening devices (ASD’s) is subject to change and will be posted on the ODAPC website.

The ODAPC website also maintains the most current version of the 49 CFR Part 40 Regulations. 

For more information on these changes, please review ODAPC’s “Summary of Changes” page.

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