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DOT Drug & Alcohol Training Requirements

By Andrew David Easler, Esq.

The transportation industry faces significant challenges on a number of fronts, not the least of which is the prospect of drug and alcohol abuse on the part of employees. This can lead to serious issues, up to and including vehicular accidents and death, leaving the company facing not only the prospect of lawsuits from passengers and their families involved in the accident but potential censure from state and federal agencies. DOT Alcohol and drug training for supervisors is designed to alleviate these problems. What are the DOT drug and alcohol training requirements for supervisors?

A Closer Look at the Training Requirements

Companies offering training programs must comply with DOT and federal regulations. While they’re able to add supplemental material, all courses must cover at least “the basics”. These include the following:

Types of drugs commonly abused, including:

  • Analgesics
  • Stimulants
  • Depressants
  • Hallucinogens

As mentioned, companies are free to add other materials to these courses, so long as the material complies with DOT drug and alcohol training requirements.

Time Considerations

The US government mandates that all drug and alcohol supervisor training programs combine a 60-minute course on alcohol abuse and another 60-minute course on substance abuse, for a total course completion time of at least 120 minutes. DOT drug and alcohol training requirements do allow courses to be longer than the 120-minute minimum, though.

Online or Offline?

The US government encourages training providers to offer courses in a format that best fits client needs, and that includes both online and offline course delivery formats. While offline training (either in a classroom or at the company’s location) can be beneficial, it has been shown that online training is preferred. So long as the online course complies with DOT drug and alcohol training requirements, this method offers additional flexibility and often greater affordability for the company sponsoring the training in the first place. It can be completed from any Internet-connected device, from a workplace PC to a home computer, or even a tablet computer, ensuring that the supervisor is able to complete his or her training easily and quickly.

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