When you experience a substance abuse violation, the Department of Transportation (DOT) removal from service can be jarring. But many professional CDL drivers can take comfort in knowing there is hope. The DOT return to service process is clear and relatively straightforward to follow. But the key is following every step to the letter.
Follow these insights and you can ensure a smoother DOT return-to-duty process.
The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to help. It is a means of communicating the laws and processes for professional drivers and restricted substances.
However, the database is also designed for transportation employers to search for and identify violations. In essence, it is a reporting system meant to help employers and their drivers stay safe.
This is what happens when you get a DOT violation:
- When your test is observed as positive, it is automatically reported to the DOT
- You will be placed in a mandated DOT return-to-duty process
The DOT Return to Duty Process
When a driver experiences a DOT violation, they must follow the DOT return to duty process. Here is what happens when you get a DOT violation and wish to return to service:
- The SAP evaluates you
- You are recommended to complete education or treatment by your SAP
- When you have completed the recommendations, you are reevaluated by the SAP again
- The SAP will provide a detailed report to your employer’s Designated Employer Representative
- You take another substance test
- If negative, you have successfully completed the return to duty test and can return to the field
- Continued monitoring and more tests occur at later dates
You may be wondering, “is a return to duty drug test observed?” The answer is yes.
How to Remove a Violation from the Clearinghouse
When a driver has their substance abuse violation listed on the FMCSA’s Clearinghouse, it is an official record. But if you think a violation record has been made by mistake, there’s good news. A violation can be removed from the Clearinghouse, if it meets certain conditions:
- If a medical condition can overturn the drug or alcohol test result
- If a verified prescription led to a positive
- If the driver is not a CDL holder
- If the violation was reported with incorrect CDL information
If you think your violation was made in error, simply follow these steps. This is how to remove a violation from the Clearinghouse:
- Log into your Clearinghouse dashboard
- Go to the Violations section
- View Violations History
- Click on “View Violations Detail” about the violation in question
- Click on “Request to Remove Violation”
- Fill out the “Reason for Violation Removal” field with information about your claim
Once submitted, your request to remove a violation will be reviewed by FMCSA officials. If the request is approved, it will be removed from the Clearinghouse automatically (without anything further needed from you).
Trust American River Wellness for Your Return to Duty
There are countless more helpful resources to share to expedite your DOT return to duty process. And we are ready to share them with you. Call today to see how American River Wellness can help you!