FTA Consortiums

Federal Transit Administration

The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 mandated the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations to combat prohibited drug use and alcohol misuse in the transportation industry. For that portion of the transportation industry having to do with the provision of and service to the public of “mass transportation,” the FTA is the agency delegated with the authority and responsibility for issuing these implementing rules. These rules are encompassed in 49 CFR Part 655, Prevention of Alcohol Misuse and Prohibited Drug Use in Transit Operations. 

All persons who performs a revenue vehicle operation; revenue vehicle and
equipment maintenance; revenue vehicle control or dispatch (optional); Commercial Drivers
License non-revenue vehicle operation; or armed security duties must get tested and be enrolled in a dot consortium. 

Types of tests for drugs: Pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return-to-duty,
and follow-up.

5-panel standard DOT testing for marijuana,cocaine,amphetamines,opiates,phencyclidine (PCP).

Types of tests for alcohol: Pre-employment (optional), random, reasonable suspicion, postaccident,
return-to-duty, and follow-up.


  • Accident requiring testing: Any accident involving a fatality requires testing.
    Testing following a non-fatal accident is discretionary: If the employer can show the employee’s
    performance could not have contributed to the accident, no test is needed. Non-fatal accidents
    that may require testing must have disabling damage to any vehicle or immediate medical
    attention away from the scene to meet the testing threshold.
  • Reasonable-suspicion determination: One trained supervisor or company official can make
    the decision based on specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the
    appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors of the employee.
    Pre-duty alcohol use prohibitions: Four (4) hours prior to performance of duty.
    Actions for BACs 0.02 – 0.039: If the employer chooses to return the employee to covered
    service within 8 hours, the BAC re-test must be below 0.02.

    Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance 

  • Employee training: Employer must provide education with display and distribution of
    informational materials and a community service hot-line telephone number, if available.
    One-hour of training on the effects and consequence of prohibited drug use on personal health,
    safety, and the work environment, and on the signs and symptoms that may indicate prohibited
    drug use. Distribution to each employee of the employer’s policy regarding the use of drugs and
    alcohol with signed receipt is mandatory.
  • Supervisor training: One-hour of training is required on the specific, contemporaneous
    physical, behavioral, and performance indicators of probable drug use. One-hour of training is
    also required on the specific, contemporaneous physical, behavioral, and performance indicators
    of probable alcohol use.
  • Reportable employee drug and alcohol violations: No requirements to report violations to
    Other: Anyone with direct or immediate supervisory authority over an employee may
    not collect that person’s urine, saliva, or breath.