Employees who work under the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) face going through the SAP Return to duty process if they fail or refuse to participate in a DOT alcohol or drug test. These employees include CDL holders, truck drivers, pilots, bus drivers, and other safety-sensitive job positions. Because employers are under federal guidelines, the first step is always to have the violator step down from safety-sensitive duties. Some employers will even terminate the employee instead of having them on a leave of absence. Doing so puts up a significant roadblock on working and making a regular income. If an employer were able, they could also move an employee to a non-safety sensitive position until the violation is taken care of. Regardless of the situation, a return to duty process is the only way to properly handle a DOT drug and alcohol violation.
Many first-time alcohol and drug violators are unclear about what to do next if they would like to stay at the same company or in the same occupation and work under DOT regulations. Regardless of city, state, or employer, the process is always the same. First up is taking time to find an SAP (Substance Abuse Professional) who is equipped with the training that qualifies them to conduct an evaluation on an employee looking to meet DOT requirements. This evaluation can be face-to-face or via video conference to properly assess your history and current status regarding alcohol or drug use. The meeting will include a written questionnaire portion and an interview portion of the evaluation. Both components can be completed within an hour, but extra time can be allotted if more time is needed to make a proper assessment. SAP evaluators have different fees and requirements, but a quick call to a counseling office can help answer any questions you may have regarding prices, locations, availability, and conditions.
Along with assessing your past and present substance use history, the SAP Evaluation also serves the purpose of getting you the right amount of intervention. At the end of your SAP evaluation, you should expect to be directed to participate in counseling, treatment, or education course of some kind. Your SAP evaluator can and will help find local companies and facilities that can provide you with these resources.