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2.12 Controlled Substance and Alcohol Testing for Employees with a Work-required CDL

Purpose: Middlebury College values the health and safety of its employees. The College also adheres to DOT requirements for those employees who hold a commercial driver's license as part of their position responsibilities for travel within the state. Such employees are subject to the controlled substance and alcohol testing rules.

Policy Statement: A driver is forbidden to consume or be under the influence of alcohol within four hours of going on duty, while on duty, or while driving, and up to 8 hours following an accident or until the employee undergoes a post-accident test, whichever occurs first.   A driver on duty is forbidden to possess, be under the influence of, or use any Schedule I drug substance, including any amphetamine or formulation of an amphetamine, narcotics or derivatives, or any other substance that makes driving unsafe.

All employees who hold a commercial driver's license as part of their position responsibilities for travel within the state are required to participate in controlled substance/alcohol testing. This includes testing for pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing and follow up testing.  For these employees, participation in the testing program is a condition of employment at Middlebury College.

Note that the ability to use a CDL license may be affected by violations incurred driving a private vehicle.  Employees with a CDL license must notify their supervisor within 24 hours of conviction of a violation in ANY vehicle.  Employees must also notify their supervisor if their regular driver's license is suspended.  Employees who fail to notify the College as requested may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Controlled Substances Testing

Testing is performed by analyzing a driver's urine specimen. All urine specimens are analyzed for marijuana (THC metabolite), cocaine, amphetamines, opiates (including heroin), and phencyclidine (PCP).

When contacted for testing, the driver will provide a urine specimen, which will be subdivided into two bottles. If the analysis of the primary specimen indicates the presence of illegal, controlled substances, the driver has 72 hours to request the split specimen be sent to another DHHS-certified laboratory for analysis.

If a driver has a positive drug test result, the driver will be interviewed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO) to determine if the positive drug test resulted from the unauthorized use of a controlled substance. If the MRO determines that unauthorized use has occurred, the driver will be removed from safety-sensitive duty, and cannot return to such duties until s/he has been evaluated by a substance abuse professional, has complied with recommended rehabilitation, and has a negative result on a return-to-duty drug test. Follow-up testing to monitor the driver's continued abstinence from drug use will be conducted.

Use of vehicles requiring a CDL is prohibited while using controlled substances, except when the use is at the instruction of a physician who has advised the driver that the substance does not adversely affect the ability to safely operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle.

Drivers who engage in prohibited controlled substance conduct will be immediately removed from safety functions, and cannot return until they have been evaluated by a substance abuse professional and complied with any treatment recommendations. Drivers will also be subject to disciplinary action, up and including termination.

Alcohol Testing

Testing is performed using the driver's breath.

Drivers who have an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater but less than 0.04 when tested just prior to, during, or immediately following performing safety-sensitive functions will be removed from performing such duties for 24 hours.

Use of vehicles requiring a CDL is prohibited while using alcohol, while having a breath alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or greater as indicated by an alcohol breath test, and/or within four hours after using alcohol.

Drivers who engage in prohibited alcohol conduct will be immediately removed from safety functions, and cannot return until they have been evaluated by a substance abuse professional and complied with any treatment recommendations. Drivers will also be subject to disciplinary action, up and including termination.


In all cases, the privacy of the employee and the confidentiality of testing records and results will be strictly maintained by Middlebury College.  The integrity of the test process will be maintained.  Test results will be attributed to the correct driver.

Physical Examinations
  • An employee holding a CDL as part of his/her position description will submit to a medical examination every 2 years. Certain medical conditions may require more frequent physical examinations.

Pre-employment testing for controlled substances

  • The College must ask an applicant about previous pre-employment tests or refusals where the applicant did not obtain a job, during two years preceding the applicant's date of application. If the applicant had any positive tests or refusal, s/he must provide documented completion of the return-to-duty process.
  • Prior to the first time a driver performs safety-sensitive functions for the College, s/he will undergo testing for alcohol and controlled substances.
  • A controlled substances test may be waived if the driver has participated in a controlled substances testing program within the past 30 days, and while participating in the program either was tested for controlled substances within the past 6 months (from the date of the application), or participated in the random controlled substances testing program for the previous 12 months, (from the date of the application), and the College ensures that no prior employer of the applicant of whom the College has knowledge has records of a violation of the controlled substances use rule of another DOT agency within the previous 6 months.
  • If the controlled substance testing is waived, the College will contact the controlled substances program in which the driver participated to obtain:

- the name and address of the program,

- verification that the driver participated in the program,

- verification that the program conforms to part 40 of the title,

- verification that the driver is qualified under the rules, including that s/he has not refused to be tested for controlled substances

- the date the driver was last tested for controlled substances

- the results of any tests taken within the previous 6 months and any other violations

Random testing
  • As part of the Commercial Safety Consortium, Middlebury College employees with job-related CDLs will participate in controlled substance and alcohol testing. Approximately 50% of Middlebury College drivers will be tested for controlled substances annually. Approximately 25% (or the rate authorized by DOT) of Middlebury College drivers will be tested for alcohol annually.
  • Such testing is conducted on a random unannounced basis just prior to, during, or immediately after performance of safety-sensitive functions. Upon notification of individuals selected for testing by Champlain Valley Urgent Care, Facilities Services will contact the employee(s), who will submit for testing on the date and time given.

Post-accident testing

  • Controlled substance/alcohol tests will be conducted after a College employee with a work-specific CDL is involved in or contributed to a qualifying accident.
  • If a driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident or receives a moving violation after a work-related driving accident, controlled substance and alcohol testing will be conducted immediately (within 8 hours for alcohol and 32 hours for controlled substance testing).
  • In order to test under post accident rules, the following conditions must be met:

1) a death must have occurred, or

2)  the driver was cited for some type of moving violation within 8 hours of the occurrence AND any vehicle was towed from the scene OR any injury occurred that required medical treatment away from the scene of the accident.

  • If neither of the conditions were met, the testing cannot be done under post-accident rules. If the supervisor has reasonable suspicion that use or abuse contributed to the accident, s/he may have the test performed under reasonable suspicion rules.

Reasonable suspicion testing

  • A driver will submit to controlled substance/alcohol testing when the College has a reasonable suspicion to believe that the CDL driver has violated the regulations concerning use of controlled substances and/or alcohol.
  • Determination that a reasonable suspicion exists must be based on explicit, describable observations concerning the appearance, contemporaneous, behavior, speech or odors of the driver. Trained supervisory staff will make such determinations.
  • Middlebury College has decided that if a breath test cannot be administered, the driver must be removed from performing safety-sensitive duties for at least 24 hours, with pay. This is not a DOT regulation.

Return to duty and/or follow-up testing

  • Controlled substance/alcohol testing will be conducted when an employee with a CDL for College purposes has violated the prohibited alcohol standards, returns to performing safety-sensitive duties.
  • Follow-up tests are unannounced. At least 6 tests will be conducted within the initial 12 months after a driver returns to duty.
  • Follow-up testing may be extended for up to 60 months following return to duty.

Refusal to Submit to Testing

Drivers who refuse to participate in required testing will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

 Behavior that constitutes refusal to participate includes (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Failure to appear for any test.
  • Failure to remain at the testing site until the testing process is complete.
  • Failure to provide a urine or breath sample for any test required by federal or state regulations.
  • Inability to provide sufficient quantities of breath, saliva, or urine to be tested without a valid medical explanation.
  • Tampering with or attempting to adulterate the specimen.
  • Interfering with the collection procedures.
  • Possessing or wearing a prosthetic or other device that could be used to interfere with the collection process.
  • Not immediately reporting to collection site.
  • Failure to cooperate with any part of the testing process.
  • Having a test result reported by an MRO as adulterated or substituted.



Please contact the College's Employee and Family Assistance Plan at 800.828.6025 for information about:

  • The effects of alcohol misuse and controlled substances use on an individual's health, work, and personal life.
  • Signs and symptoms of an alcohol problem
  • Available methods of intervening when an alcohol and/or controlled substance problem is suspected.


More Information & Questions

This is a summary of the testing program.  Requests for more information and questions about this policy should be directed to:

Missy Beckwith
Facilities Services
Service Building


Certificate of Receipt

 I, __________________________, have received a copy of Middlebury College's controlled substance and alcohol policies and procedures.


____________________                    ________________________________

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