DOT Definitions on Alcohol & Drug Testing

Definitions Related to DOT Alcohol & Drug Testing

A list of terms and definitions used on SAP Directory as found in DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.3. Click the + button next to the term to reveal the definition. 

DOT Definitions

DOT Definitions

A specimen that has been altered, as evidenced by test results showing either a substance that is not a normal constituent for that type of specimen or showing an abnormal concentration of an endogenous substance.

Persons are affiliates of one another if, directly or indirectly, one controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party controls or has the power to control both. Indicators of control include, but are not limited to: interlocking management or ownership; shared interest among family members; shared facilities or equipment; or common use of employees. Following the issuance of a public interest exclusion, an organization having the same or similar management, ownership, or principal employees as the service agent concerning whom a public interest exclusion is in effect is regarded as an affiliate. This definition is used in connection with the public interest exclusion procedures of Subpart R of this part.

The test used to differentiate a negative specimen from one that requires further testing for drugs or drug metabolites.

In evidential breath testing devices (EBTs) using gas chromatography technology, a reading of the device’s internal standard. In all other EBTs, a reading of ambient air containing no alcohol.

The intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol or other low molecular weight alcohols, including methyl or isopropyl alcohol.

The alcohol in a volume of breath expressed in terms of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a breath test under this part.

A subsequent test using an EBT, following a screening test with a result of 0.02 or greater, that provides quantitative data about the alcohol concentration.

A breath or saliva device, other than an EBT, that is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and appears on ODAPC’s web page for “Approved Screening Devices to Measure Alcohol in Bodily Fluids” because it conforms to the model specifications from NHTSA.

An analytic procedure to determine whether an employee may have a prohibited concentration of alcohol in a breath or saliva specimen.

A place selected by the employer where employees present themselves for the purpose of providing breath or saliva for an alcohol test.

The drinking or swallowing of any beverage, liquid mixture or preparation (including any medication), containing alcohol.

A fractional part of a specimen used for testing. It is taken as a sample representing the whole specimen.

A person who instructs and assists employees in the alcohol testing process and operates an evidential breath testing device.

A drug or alcohol test that has a problem identified that cannot be or has not been corrected, or which this part otherwise requires to be cancelled. A cancelled test is neither a positive nor a negative test.

The procedure used to document the handling of the urine specimen from the time the employee gives the specimen to the collector until the specimen is destroyed.  This procedure uses the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF) as approved by the Office of Management and Budget.

A container into which the employee urinates to provide the specimen for a drug test.

A place selected by the employer where employees present themselves for the purpose of providing a urine specimen for a drug test.

A person who instructs and assists employees at a collection site, who receives and makes an initial inspection of the specimen provided by those employees, and who initiates and completes the CCF.

A second analytical procedure performed on a different aliquot of the original specimen to identify and quantify the presence of a specific drug or drug metabolite.

A second test performed on a different aliquot of the original urine specimen to further support a validity test result.

A confirmation test result received by an MRO from a laboratory.

A service agent that provides or coordinates the provision of a variety of drug and alcohol testing services to employers. C/TPAs typically perform administrative tasks concerning the operation of the employers’ drug and alcohol testing programs. This term includes, but is not limited to, groups of employers who join together to administer, as a single entity, the DOT drug and alcohol testing programs of its members. C/TPAs are not “employers” for purposes of this part.

Training for substance abuse professionals (SAPs) who have completed qualification training and are performing SAP functions, designed to keep SAPs current on changes and developments in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program.

An employee authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s) to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties, or cause employees to be removed from these covered duties, and to make required decisions in the testing and evaluation processes. The DER also receives test results and other communications for the employer, consistent with the requirements of this part.
Service agents cannot act as DERs.

A urine specimen with creatinine and specific gravity values that are lower than expected for human urine.

These terms encompass all DOT agencies, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and the Office of the Secretary (OST). For purposes of this part, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in the Department of Homeland Security, is considered to be a DOT agency for drug testing purposes only since the USCG regulation does not incorporate Part 40 for its alcohol testing program.  These terms include any designee of a DOT agency.

The drugs for which tests are required under this part and DOT agency regulations are marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and opioids.

Any person who is designated in a DOT agency regulation as subject to drug testing and/or alcohol testing. The term includes individuals currently performing safety-sensitive functions designated in DOT agency regulations and applicants for employment subject to pre-employment testing. For purposes of drug testing under this part, the term employee has the same meaning as the term “donor” as found on CCF and related guidance materials produced by the Department of Health and Human Services.

A person or entity employing one or more employees (including an individual who is self-employed) subject to DOT agency regulations requiring compliance with this part. The term includes an employer’s officers, representatives, and management personnel. Service agents are not employers for the purposes of this part.

Training provided to BATs, collectors, and screening test technicians (STTs) following an error that resulted in the cancellation of a drug or alcohol test. Error correction training must be provided in person or by a means that provides real-time observation and interaction between the instructor and trainee.

A device that is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the evidential testing of breath at the .02 and .04 alcohol concentrations and appears on ODAPC’s Web page for “Approved Evidential Breath Measurement Devices” because it conforms with the model specifications available from NHTSA.

The Department of Health and Human Services or any designee of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

The first test used to determine if a urine specimen is adulterated, diluted, substituted, or invalid.

The result reported by an HHS-certified laboratory in accordance with the criteria established by HHS Mandatory Guidelines when a positive, negative, adulterated, or substituted result cannot be established for a specific drug or specimen validity test.

The result reported by a laboratory for a urine specimen that contains an unidentified adulterant, contains an unidentified interering substance, has an abnormal physical characteristic, or has an endogenous substance at an abnormal concentration that prevents the laboratory from completing testing or obtaining a valid drug test result.

Any U.S. laboratory certified by HHS under the National Laboratory Certification Program as meeting the minimum standards of Subpart C of the HHS Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs; or, in the case of foreign laboratories, a laboratory approved for participation by DOT under this part.

The lowest concentration at which a measurand can be identified, but (for quantitative assays) the concentration cannot be accurately calculated.

For quantitative assays, the lowest concentration at which the identity and concentration of the measurand can be accurately established.

A person who is a licensed physician and who is responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results generated by an employer’s drug testing program and evaluating medical explanations for certain drug test results.

The result reported by an HHS-certified laboratory to an MRO when a specimen contains no drug or the concentration of the drug is less than the cutoff concentration for the drug or drug class and the specimen is a valid specimen.

A urine specimen that is reported as adulterated, substituted, positive (for drug(s) or drug metabolite(s)), and/or invalid.

The office in the Office of the Secretary, DOT, that is responsible for coordinating drug and alcohol testing program matters within the Department and providing information concerning the implementation of this part.

A substance that acts alone or in combination with other substances to oxidize drugs or drug metabolites to prevent the detection of the drug or drug metabolites, or affects the reagents in either the initial or confirmatory drug test.

In drug testing, the urine specimen bottle that is opened and tested by a first laboratory to determine whether the employee has a drug or drug metabolite in his or her system; and for the purpose of validity testing. The primary specimen is distinguished from the split specimen, defined in this section.

The result reported by an HHS-certified laboratory when a specimen contains a drug or drug metabolite equal to or greater than the cutoff concentrations.

The training required in order for a collector, BAT, MRO, SAP, or STT to be qualified to perform their functions in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program. Qualification training may be provided by any appropriate means (e.g., classroom instruction, internet application, CD–ROM, video).

The result reported for a split specimen when the second laboratory is able to corroborate the original result reported for the primary specimen.

The training required periodically for qualified collectors, BATs, and STTs to review basic requirements and provide instruction concerning changes in technology (e.g., new testing methods that may be authorized) and amendments, interpretations, guidance, and issues concerning this part and DOT agency drug and alcohol testing regulations. Refresher training can be provided by any appropriate means (e.g., classroom instruction, internet application, CD–ROM, video).

The result reported by an HHS-certified laboratory when no tests are performed for a specimen because of a fatal flaw or a correctable flaw that is not corrected.

See Initial drug test definition above.

A person who instructs and assists employees in the alcohol testing process and operates an ASD.

The Secretary of Transportation or the Secretary’s designee.

Any person or entity, other than an employee of the employer, who provides services to employers and/or employees in connection with DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, collectors, BATs and STTs, laboratories, MROs, substance abuse professionals, and C/TPAs. To act as service agents, persons and organizations must meet DOT qualifications, if applicable. Service agents are not employers for purposes of this part.

A container that is used for transporting and protecting urine specimen bottles and associated documents from the collection site to the laboratory.

The bottle that, after being sealed and labeled according to the procedures in this part, is used to hold the urine specimen during transportation to the laboratory.

In drug testing, a part of the urine specimen that is sent to a first laboratory and retained unopened, and which is transported to a second laboratory in the event that the employee requests that it be tested following a verified positive test of the primary specimen or a verified adulterated or substituted test result.

A collection in which the urine collected is divided into two separate specimen bottles, the primary specimen (Bottle A) and the split specimen (Bottle B).

The practice of temporarily removing an employee from the performance of safety-sensitive functions based only on a report from a laboratory to the MRO of a confirmed positive test for a drug or drug metabolite, an adulterated test, or a substituted test, before the MRO has completed verification of the test result.

A person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

A urine specimen with creatinine and specific gravity values that are so diminished or so divergent that they are not consistent with normal human urine.

A drug test result or validity testing result from an HHS-certified laboratory that has undergone review and final determination by the MRO.

References: [65 FR 79526, Dec. 19, 2000, as amended at 66 FR 41950, Aug. 9, 2001; 71 FR 49384, August 23, 2006; 71 FR 55347, Sept. 22, 2006; 73 FR 35969, June 25, 2008; 75 FR 49861, August 16, 2010; 76 FR 59577, September 27, 2011; 80 FR 19553, April 13, 2015; 81 FR 52365, August 8, 2016; 82 FR 52243, November 13, 2017]

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