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Return To Duty Process


The employee in violation of the DOT regulations for drug or alcohol testing is removed immediately from safety sensitive duty.


The employer is required to provide all employees and applicants in violation with a list of DOT qualified Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs).


The SAP performs a face to face clinical evaluation of the employee and makes recommendations for treatment and/or education, providing documentation to the Designated Employee Representative (DER).


The employee complies with the treatment(s) and/or education recommended by the SAP. The SAP then conducts a follow-up evaluation and determines the employee's eligibility to return to safety sensitive duty providing documentation to the DER.


Once the DER receives the SAP's documentation indicating the employee is eligible to return to safety sensitive duty, the employee must test negative on a Return to Duty Drug/Alcohol Screening before returning to duty at the employer's discretion.


The employee is subject to announced follow-up testing and a period of 1 to 5 years according to a plan determined by the SAP and provided to the DER.

The Employee/Applicant has now completed the SAP Return To Duty process what's next?

The SAP then recommends follow-up testing, aftercare treatment, and/or support group participation.

Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional


The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a clinician who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and/or alcohol program regulation.

SAPs are trained and tested according to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Guidelines 49 CFR Part 40. DOT/SAP evaluations must be conducted face -to -face. The cost of the evaluation includes assessment tools, education/treatment recommendations, treatment monitoring, follow-up assessment and all compliance reporting. DOT-covered employees are typically seen within 24 hours for their convenience. 

A SAP is not an advocate for neither the employer nor the employee. The responsibility of a SAP is to protect the public interest in safety by professionally evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education/treatment, follow-up tests and aftercare. A SAP guides employees in the process of meeting compliance and returning to safety-sensitive positions such as a commercial driver getting back behind the wheel of a tractor trailer, a pilot returning to the cockpit of a plane, a conductor resuming the controls of a locomotive, a driver continuing to operate a transit bus, a commercial waterman once again taking the helm of a cargo vessel or an operator regaining the responsibility for the emergency controls of a natural gas pipeline. 

How to Designate a SAP in the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

Log In and Access Your Driver Dashboard Visit Click Log In and access the Clearinghouse using your username and password.

If you have a new violation in your Clearinghouse record, your Driver Dashboard will display a message prompting you to select a SAP. Click designate your substance abuse professional to begin the process.

Type the name of your SAP in the text box labeled Who is your SAP? If you enter enough characters of the SAP’s name, a list of options will also appear. Select Sandra P. Charles

If you can’t find your SAP, check the spelling and try again. Be sure to enter the name the SAP used to register in the Clearinghouse.

If your SAP is not listed, you will need to contact your SAP to ask him or her to register for the Clearinghouse.

Once you have identified your SAP, you will be prompted to send him or her a request. Review the displayed SAP information.

When you are ready to designate this SAP, click Send Request. You will be sent a confirmation message.

You will see a confirmation message once your SAP request has been sent. Your Driver Dashboard will indicate when the SAP has approved the request and you are ready to move to the next step Return-to-Duty.

Note: You cannot designate a different SAP in the Clearinghouse once the SAP accepts your designated request.

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