DOT Extends Period of Enforcement Discretion For SAPs and Service Agents
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance (“ODAPC”) has again extended its April 4, 2020 Statement of Enforcement Discretion for Substance Abuse Professionals and Service Agents, effective September 22, 2020. The Statement of Enforcement Discretion previously was extended in June and will now remain in place until December 31, 2020.
Under DOT regulations, Substance Abuse Professionals (“SAPs”) are required to conduct a face-to-face assessment and evaluation of an employee who has violated DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations. DOT considers “face-to-face” to mean “in person.” However, due to COVID-19, DOT will permit SAPs to conduct remote assessment and evaluations (subject to certain technological and documentation requirements).
In addition, DOT is providing flexibility to service agents (collectors, Medical Review Officers, Screening Test Technicians/Breath Alcohol Technicians and SAPs) with respect to re-qualification timelines. Due to potential challenges with “finding the necessary resources” to meet re-qualification requirements DOT will consider these categories of service agents qualified to continue providing drug and alcohol testing services in accordance with DOT regulations through December 31, 2020.