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7000 Series - Personnel » 7241 Drug and Alcohol Testing of Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators

7241 Drug and Alcohol Testing of Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators

The purpose of this policy is to help ensure safe operation of school vehicles and to comply with federal law and regulations by establishing a comprehensive program of drug and alcohol testing for school bus drivers and all other commercial motor vehicle operators employed by the Wilkes County Board of Education.

A. Applicability

Persons subject to this policy include any employee, volunteer, or independent contractor whose duties for the board of education require a commercial driver's license under federal law. This includes anyone who regularly or intermittently drives a school bus, activity bus, or other vehicle designed to transport sixteen or more people, including the driver, or any other vehicle that meets the definition of commercial motor vehicle under 49 C.F.R. 382.107.

B. Prohibited Acts

No driver may:
  1. operate any school bus or school activity bus while consuming alcohol or while alcohol remains in the driver's body, in violation of G.S. 20-138.2B;
  2. use alcohol while performing safety-sensitive functions;
  3. perform safety-sensitive functions within four hours after using alcohol;
  4. use alcohol following an accident while operating a commercial motor vehicle;
  5. report for or remain on duty requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions when the driver uses any Schedule I drug or substance; or
  6. report for or remain on duty requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions when the driver uses any non-Schedule I drug or substance that is identified in the other federal schedules of controlled drugs, unless such use is pursuant to the instructions of a licensed medical practitioner who is familiar with the driver's medical history and has advised the driver that use of the substance will not adversely affect the driver's ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Safety-sensitive functions include, but are not limited to, inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle; operating any commercial motor vehicle; participating in or supervising the loading or unloading of a commercial motor vehicle; and repairing, obtaining assistance for, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled vehicle.
In addition, commercial motor vehicle operators, and anyone who supervises commercial motor vehicle operators, will not commit any act prohibited by federal law, including "Controlled Substance and Alcohol Use Testing" (49 C.F.R. pt. 382) (hereinafter referred to as Part 382), by this policy or by Board of Education policy 7240.

C. Testing

The administration will carry out pre-employment, post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion, return-to-duty, and follow-up testing for drugs and alcohol as required by Part 382. School bus drivers and others employed by the Board of Education for the primary purpose of operating a commercial motor vehicle will undergo pre-employment testing. Employees whose duties include occasional driving will not be subject to pre-employment testing but must undergo all other testing required by Part 382. Drivers who are tested under the provisions of this section and found to have any alcohol in their system are subject to additional discipline under this policy, including dismissal.
All employees must undergo drug and alcohol testing before driving a commercial motor vehicle for the Board of Education.

D. Employee and Applicant Inquiries

All employees subject to this policy, all employees who would become subject to this policy by virtue of a change or expansion of duties, and all applicants who would be subject to this policy if employed must give written or electronic consent to any query by school officials of the federal Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse ("Clearinghouse") and, where applicable, must consent in writing to the release of any information that the school system is required to obtain from any previous employers under Part 382.
  1. Pre-employment Inquiry
Before employing any applicant covered by this policy, school officials shall conduct a query of the Clearinghouse, pursuant to the applicant's electronic consent submitted through the Clearinghouse, to obtain any information regarding the applicant's violations of Part 382. If the applicant was subject to an alcohol and controlled substance testing program under the requirements of a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) agency other than the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration within the previous three years, school officials shall also obtain, pursuant to the applicant's written consent, all records maintained by those DOT-regulated employers that the school system is required to obtain under Part 382.
If school officials obtain information from the applicant's previous employer or from the Clearinghouse that the applicant committed a violation of Part 382 and has not subsequently completed the return-to-duty process required under federal law, the applicant may be disqualified from employment.
  1. Annual Query
School officials shall conduct a limited query of the Clearinghouse at least once per year for each employee subject to this policy, pursuant to the employee's written or electronic consent, to determine whether information exists about the employee regarding violations of Part 382. If information exists about the employee, school officials shall obtain the information in the Clearinghouse within 24 hours of conducting the limited query, subject to the employee's electronic consent submitted through the Clearinghouse.

E. Training and Education

Each commercial motor vehicle operator and supervisory employee, including principals and assistant principals, will be provided with educational materials that inform the employees of drug testing procedures, prohibited acts, consequences, and other aspects of Part 382, this policy and any attached administrative procedures. The information also will identify a school district employee who will be responsible for providing information on substance abuse. Each employee will sign a statement certifying receipt of these materials.
The transportation director will undergo at least one hour of training concerning alcohol misuse and an additional hour of training concerning drug abuse.

F. Referrals

Each motor vehicle operator who violates acts prohibited by Part 382, other than provisions governing pre-employment testing, will be provided with information concerning resources available for evaluating and resolving drug or alcohol misuse. This information will include names, addresses, and telephone numbers of substance abuse professionals and counseling and treatment programs.

G. Consequences

Employees who have committed a prohibited act, refused any test required by this policy, or otherwise violated this policy, G.S. 20-138.2B or Part 382, will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Any employee who has committed a violation of Part 382 will not be allowed to perform any safety-sensitive functions until the employee has completed the return-to-duty process, including an evaluation by a substance abuse professional, completion of any appropriate treatment designated by the substance abuse professional, and achievement of a negative return-to-duty test. Moreover, if the employee's violation of Part 382 has been reported to the Clearinghouse, the employee may not resume safety-sensitive functions until a query of the Clearinghouse demonstrates that the employee completed the return-to-duty process.

H. Procedures

All procedures provided in the Federal Highway Administration's "Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug Testing Programs" (49 C.F.R. pt. 40) for collection and testing and all requirements in Part 382, including testing, reporting, record retention, training, and confidentiality, will be followed. Copies of these federal regulations will be readily available. The superintendent will develop any other procedures necessary to carry out these regulations.
Legal References:  49 U.S.C. 31306; 49 C.F.R. pts. 40, 382; G.S.20-138.2B
Cross References:  Drug-Free Workplace (policy 7240)
Adopted:  January 9, 2006
Revised:  March 2, 2020; February 6, 2023