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  • Danielle Castaneda, CRADC, MAATP, SAP

DOT qualified SAP

About Behavioral Change has qualified DOT SAPs on staff.

Under DOT regulations, SAPs are Substance Abuse Professionals. SAPs play a critical role in the work place testing program by professionally evaluating employees who have violated DOT drug & alcohol rules. SAPs recommend appropriate education, treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare. They are the gatekeepers to the re-entry program by determining when a safety-sensitive employee can be returned to duty.

SAPs are required to have a certain background and credentials, which include clinical experience in diagnosis and treatment of substance abuse-related disorders. They must also complete qualification training and fulfill obligations for continuing education courses. While SAPs do make recommendations to the employer about an employee’s readiness to perform safety-sensitive duties, SAPs are neither an advocate for the employee or the employer, and they make return-to-duty recommendations according to their professional and ethical standards as well as DOT’s regulations.

Anyone designated in DOT regulations as a safety-sensitive employee is subject to DOT drug & alcohol testing.

If you test positive, refuse a test, or violate DOT drug & alcohol rules:

- A supervisor or company official will immediately remove you from DOT-regulated safety-sensitive functions.

- You will not be permitted to return to performing DOT regulated safety-sensitive duties until you have:

- Undergone an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP);

- Successfully completed any education, counseling or treatment prescribed by the SAP prior to returning to service;

- Provided a negative test result for drugs and/or a test result of less than 0.02 for alcohol. (Return-to-duty testing).


- Upon return to a safety-sensitive job, you will be subject to unannounced testing for drugs and/or alcohol no less than 6 times during the first 12 months of active service with the possibility of unannounced testing for up to 60 months (as prescribed by the SAP). These tests (including the return-to-duty test) will be directly observed.

Your drug & alcohol testing history will follow you to your new employer, if that employer is regulated by a DOT agency. Employers are required by law to provide records of your drug & alcohol testing history to your new employer. This is to ensure that you have completed the return-to-duty process and are being tested according to your follow-up testing plan.

If you feel that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, seek help! Jobs performed by safety-sensitive transportation employees keep America’s people and economy moving. Your work is a vital part of everyday life. Yet, by abusing drugs or alcohol, you risk your own life, your co-workers lives and the lives of the public. Most every community in the country has resources available to confidentially assist you through the evaluation and treatment of your problem. If you would like to find a treatment facility close to you, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services treatment facility locator at This site provides contact information for substance abuse treatment programs by state, city and U.S. Territory. Also, many work-place programs are in place to assist employees and family members with substance abuse, mental health and other problems that affect their job performance. Also, ask your employer for a list of SAPs in your area (even if the employer fired you or did not hire you).


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