The SAP Assessment process explained

DOT/ SAP Services
Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) Services

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Over the last several years, there have been substantial changes to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, both for employees and employers. A covered employee, who violates a DOT rule, must comply with a formal, structured evaluation by a qualified SAP. Failure to complete the formal SAP process can result in the safety sensitive employee from being barred from working in safety sensitive duties indefinitely, and can result in substantial monetary fines to the employer.

How the SAP Assessment process works

  • A confirmed violation (most commonly tests positive for alcohol or illicit drugs), at that time the operator must stand down from the safety sensitive duties, and is not able to return to safety sensitive duties until they have been released or returned to duty by a qualified SAP.
  • The operator must contact a qualified SAP and go in for a face-to-face substance abuse assessment. At the end of the assessment the operator will leave with a recommendation for either drug/alcohol treatment or education. The DOT has a mandatory minimum recommendation of education, commonly called (in Washington State) Alcohol/Drug Information School (A/DIS) it is 8-12 hours, usually held on a Saturday.
  • Complete the treatment or education and contact the SAP for a follow-up appointment.
  • Go to the SAP for the appointment, this is the Return to Duty appointment, after this appointment your employer (or last employer) will be sent a Return to Duty Letter.
  • If you are a Commercial Driver in Washington State, & your violation was against a CDL, you will need to go to the Department of Licensing to get you license reinstated, there is a $150 re-qualification fee and any licensing fees.
  • Get a clean drug/alcohol, return to duty teat. This test will be ordered by your employer, The return to duty test are directly observed, this is per UD DOT policy, in addition any follow up drug tests will be observed as well. The SAP must order a minimum of 6 random drug tests in the 1st year and can order additional drug testing for up to 5 years (60 months)
  • Contact – Al Armstrong for more information and to confirm and clarify your SAP needs.