The United States Department of Transportation mandates urine drug and evidential breath alcohol testing for staff members in safety-sensitive positions, including those required to hold a commercial driver's license. This policy sets forth the University of Puget Sound's alcohol and drug testing program and the testing and reporting requirements mandated by those regulations. It applies to all university staff members who are required to have and maintain a commercial driver's license to perform the duties of their jobs and, for them, supersedes any other policy or policy statements.

Prohibited Conduct

It is the university's policy to take those steps necessary to ensure that its staff members perform their duties and responsibilities free of any influence of drugs and alcohol. Accordingly, the following conduct regarding alcohol and drug use or abuse is prohibited:

Alcohol Concentration
A staff member may not report for duty or remain on duty requiring the performance of duties covered under this policy while having an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater.

Alcohol Possession and On-Duty Use of Alcohol
A staff member may not possess or use alcohol while operating a commercial motor vehicle while on duty.

Pre-Duty Use of Alcohol
A staff member may not operate a commercial motor vehicle within four hours after using alcohol. An on-call staff member who consumes alcohol within four hours of being called in must acknowledge alcohol use and may not report for duty.

Alcohol Use Following an Accident
A staff member required to take a post-accident alcohol test may not use alcohol for eight hours following the accident or until a post-accident alcohol test is given, whichever comes first.

Use of Drugs
A staff member may not report for duty or remain on duty when the staff member has used a drug or drugs, except when the use is pursuant to instructions of a physician who has advised the staff member that the substance does not adversely affect the staff member's ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely. Staff members who are taking a prescription or over-the-counter medication that may impair their ability to perform their duties safely and effectively should provide written notice from a physician or pharmacist with respect to the effects of such substances.

Refusal to Submit to a Required Test
A staff member may not refuse to submit to a post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion, or follow-up alcohol or drug test as directed by this policy.

Positive Drug or Alcohol Test
A staff member may not report for duty or remain on duty requiring the performance of duties covered under this policy if the staff member tests positive for drugs or alcohol.

Tampering With a Required Test
A staff member may not tamper with, adulterate, alter, substitute, or otherwise obstruct the testing process.

Possession, Transfer, or Sale
A staff member may not possess, transfer or sell drugs or alcohol while in any position covered by this policy.


To ensure that staff members covered by this policy do not engage in any prohibited activity, drug and alcohol testing is required in the following circumstances:

Pre-employment Drug Testing
All individuals covered by this policy must pass a drug test as a post-offer condition of employment.

Reasonable Suspicion Testing
Staff members subject to this policy must submit to a drug and alcohol test when a supervisor or other observer reasonably suspects that this policy (except the prohibitions against possession, transfer, or sale of alcohol) may have been or is presently being violated.

Post-Accident Testing
Following an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle, the driver is required to submit to alcohol, and drug tests (1) where a fatality occurs as a result of the accident; or (2) where the driver receives a citation under state or local law for a moving traffic violation and the accident results in either bodily injury requiring immediate medical attention away from the scene of the accident or disabling damage to a vehicle requiring it to be towed from the scene. A driver who is subject to post-accident testing must remain readily available for testing and may not take any action to interfere with testing or testing results.

Random Testing
Staff members covered by this policy will be subject to random, unannounced drug and alcohol testing.

Return to Duty Testing
Staff members who have violated this policy, including those who have tested positive on a drug or alcohol test and who under the corrective action policy (see "Corrective Action" policy in the Standards of Conduct section in the Manual) are allowed to return to work, must test negative before being released for duty. A return to duty test following alcohol misuse may not exceed an alcohol concentration of 0.02.

Follow-up Testing
A staff member referred for assistance related to alcohol misuse and/or use of controlled substances is subject to unannounced follow-up testing as directed by a Substance Abuse Professional. The number and frequency of follow-up testing will be determined by the Substance Abuse Professional, but will not be fewer than six tests in the first 12 months following the staff member's return to duty.

Staff members who test positive for drugs may request a second test of the remaining portion of the split sample within 72 hours of notification of a positive test result by the Medical Review Officer.

Refusal to Take an Alcohol or Drug Test

No staff member may refuse to submit to an alcohol or drug test as directed under this policy. A refusal to submit includes, but is not limited to, a failure to provide adequate breath or urine for testing without a valid medical explanation or engaging in conduct that obstructs the testing process.

Refusal to submit to a test is considered the same as a positive test result.

Securing Information From Previous Employers

If a person is to be hired into a position subject to this policy and that person has worked as a driver of a commercial vehicle during the previous two years, that person must authorize a request to release information regarding positive test results and refusals to be tested.

Confidentiality and Record Retention

All records related to drug and alcohol testing will be maintained in a secure location with limited access.

Consequences of Engaging in Prohibited Conduct Including Positive Drug or Alcohol Tests

A staff member will be subject to appropriate corrective action up to and including termination from employment for any violation of this policy, including any positive test result. In some cases, staff members may not be terminated following a positive test result. Still, they will be removed from their safety-sensitive positions and may be required to follow additional rehabilitation requirements and follow-up testing in order to maintain employment.

Employee Assistance Program/Voluntary Referral

The university supports staff members who volunteer for the treatment of alcohol or drug abuse. Staff members are encouraged to seek treatment voluntarily and to utilize the Employee Assistance Program. Sick leave, vacation leave, or leave of absence without pay may be granted for treatment and rehabilitation as in other illnesses, and insurance coverage for treatment may be provided depending upon applicable policies. Staff members who would like information on benefits or the Employee Assistance Program should contact Human Resources. Confidentiality of information will be maintained as much as possible at all times.


This policy intends to follow the federal Department of Transportation regulations' requirements and generally uses the definitions contained in those regulations. For ease of reference, the following definitions apply to this policy:

This term includes all staff members whose positions may involve driving a commercial motor vehicle and that require the possession of a commercial driver's license.

Commercial Motor Vehicle
A commercial motor vehicle is one that either (1) has a gross vehicle weight of over 26,000 pounds (including combined weight if towed unit weighs over 10,000 pounds); (2) is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or (3) is used to transport hazardous materials.

For this policy, in accordance with the applicable federal regulations, "drugs" refers to the following five substances: marijuana (THC), cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP), and amphetamines.

Medical Review Officer (MRO)
The Medical Review Officer is the licensed physician responsible for receiving and interpreting laboratory results from the urine drug tests.

Safety-Sensitive Position
For purposes of this policy, these are positions associated with the driving of commercial motor vehicles.

Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)
A Substance Abuse Professional means a licensed physician, or a licensed or certified psychologist, social worker, employee assistance professional, or addiction counselor (certified by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission) with knowledge of and clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of alcohol and drug-related disorders. The SAP is responsible for evaluating staff members with positive test results.

Origination Date: 4/1996
Owner: Human Resources
Contact: AVP for Human Resources/Career & Employment Services