THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL
POLICY ON ALCOHOL AND CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES TESTING

Effective: January 1, 1996
Amended Effective: June 1, 1996
Amended Effective: August 1, 2001

PURPOSE

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to providing a safe, harmonious and healthy environment for its employees, students and visitors. Alcohol and controlled substances not only affect the judgment, physical responses, and overall health of the person who uses them, but they can also have lasting effects on others as well.

The Federal Highway Administration has implemented regulations under the Omnibus Transportation Act of 1991 that require employers to establish an alcohol and controlled substances testing program for their employees who are required to hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) as a condition of employment. The goals of this testing are to prevent needless accidents, to reduce the risk of injury to employees and others, and to make employees aware of resources available to assist them if they have a problem with either alcohol or controlled substances. The University is therefore enacting this policy to comply with these regulations and to further these goals.

COVERED EMPLOYEES

This policy covers all University employees who are required to have a commercial driver’s license as a condition of employment and who operate a commercial motor vehicle while on duty (hereinafter “driver(s)”). On-duty is defined as all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time he/she is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work.

DEFINITIONS, POLICY AND PROCEDURES

University Contact: All questions regarding this policy and its associated procedures should be addressed to Human Resources Administration at (919) 962-3894. The University’s Designated Employer Representative is the Department of Environment, Health, and Safety at (919) 962-5710.

Definitions:

Commercial Motor Vehicle: Commercial motor vehicle means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:

  • has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds; or
  • has a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds; or
  • is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
  • is of any size and is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations.

Safety-Sensitive Functions: A driver is considered to be performing a safety-sensitive functions when he/she is: waiting to be dispatched; inspecting equipment or servicing a commercial motor vehicle; driving a commercial motor vehicle; associated with loading or unloading a vehicle; and/or repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled vehicle or after being in an accident.

A driver will be considered to be performing a safety-sensitive function during any period in which he/she is actually performing, ready to perform, or immediately available to perform any safety-sensitive function.

PROHIBITED DRIVER CONDUCT

Drivers are prohibited from engaging in conduct that would impair their ability to perform their job functions. Seven main types of conduct are prohibited:

Alcohol Concentration: No driver shall report for duty or remain on duty requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater.

On-Duty Alcohol Use: No driver shall use alcohol while performing safety-sensitive functions.

Pre-Duty Alcohol Use: No driver shall perform safety-sensitive functions within four hours after using alcohol.

Alcohol Use Following an Accident: No driver required to take a post-accident alcohol test shall use alcohol for eight hours following the accident, or until he/she undergoes a post-accident alcohol test, whichever occurs first.

Positive Test Results for Controlled Substances: No driver shall report for duty, remain on duty, or perform a safety-sensitive function if the driver tests positive for controlled substances.

Controlled Substances Use: No driver shall report for duty or remain on duty requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions when the driver uses any controlled substance. An exception is permitted, however, if the use is pursuant to the instructions of a physician or other licensed medical practitioner who has advised the driver that the substance does not adversely affect the driver’s ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Refusal to Submit to a Required Alcohol or Controlled Substances Test: No driver shall refuse to submit to any test required under this policy.

PROHIBITED UNIVERSITY CONDUCT

The University, including its associated departments, upon actual knowledge that a driver has engaged in any of the prohibited behaviors listed above, shall not permit the driver to perform or continue to perform safety-sensitive functions.

Actual knowledge that a driver has used alcohol or controlled substances may be based on:

  • direct observation of the driver,
  • information provided by the driver’s previous employer(s),
  • a traffic citation from driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, or
  • a driver’s admission of alcohol or controlled substances use, except as is protected by the University’s self-identification policy.

CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRING TESTING FOR ALCOHOL AND/OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

Testing occurs in pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return-to-duty, and follow-up contexts. Drivers are only subject to alcohol testing while they are performing, about to perform, or immediately after performing safety-sensitive functions. Drivers are subject to controlled substances testing at all times while they are on duty. It is the driver’s responsibility to inform his/her department of any drug use pursuant to the instructions of a physician or other licensed medical practitioner.

Pre-Employment Testing: A pre-employment test is one that is given after a conditional offer of employment (or transfer or promotion) and prior to the first time the driver performs a safety-sensitive function. A driver must receive a verified negative controlled substances test result before the department can allow him/her to perform any safety-sensitive function.

There is no pre-employment alcohol testing for drivers.

Random Testing: The University must randomly test its drivers for alcohol and controlled substances throughout the calendar year. The University participates in a consortium of state agencies whose random testing programs are conducted by an independent contractor.

Random tests for alcohol and/or controlled substances will not be announced in advance to the drivers. Upon notification that he/she has been selected for random testing, the driver shall proceed to the test site immediately. If the driver is performing a safety-sensitive function at the time of notification, he/she shall cease performing that function before proceeding to the test site.

A driver will only be tested for alcohol while the driver is performing safety-sensitive functions, just before the driver is to perform safety-sensitive functions, or just after the driver has ceased performing such functions.

Reasonable Suspicion Testing: If a supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled substances, the supervisor must require the driver to undergo an alcohol and/or controlled substances test. Any driver required to undergo reasonable suspicion alcohol and/or controlled substances testing will be immediately removed from performing all safety-sensitive functions and will be transported to the testing site by a designated University official.

The determination of the supervisor that testing is required must be based on specific, current, describable observations concerning the appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors of the driver. With regard to controlled substances, the supervisor’s observations may also include indications of chronic and withdrawal effects of controlled substances. The supervisor must make a written record of his/her observations leading to a controlled substances reasonable suspicion test within twenty-four hours of the observed behavior or before the results of the controlled substances test are released, whichever is earlier.

The observations which require alcohol testing must be made during, just preceding, or just after the period of the work day that the driver is required to be in compliance with this policy. A driver may only be directed by his/her supervisor to undergo reasonable suspicion testing for alcohol while the driver is performing safety-sensitive functions, or just before the driver is to perform safety-sensitive functions, or just after the driver has ceased performing such functions. If an alcohol test is not administered within two hours following the determination that reasonable suspicion exists, the supervisor must prepare and maintain on file a record stating the reasons the alcohol test was not promptly administered. If an alcohol test based on reasonable suspicion is not administered within eight hours of that determination, the University will cease attempts to administer an alcohol test and the supervisor must prepare a written record of the reasons for not administering the test.

Even in the absence of a reasonable suspicion alcohol test, the driver shall not report for duty or remain on duty requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions while the driver is under the influence of or impaired by alcohol, as shown by the behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of alcohol misuse. The department shall not permit the driver to perform or continue to perform any safety-sensitive function until the driver has either received an alcohol test with a measured alcohol concentration of less than 0.02, or twenty-four hours have elapsed following the determination that there is reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver has violated the prohibitions in this policy concerning the use of alcohol.

Post-Accident Testing: A driver may be required to submit to a post-accident alcohol and/or controlled substances test. As soon as is practicable following an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle, a surviving driver will be tested if:

    • he/she was performing safety-sensitive functions with respect to the vehicle, if the accident involved the loss of human life; or
    • he/she received a citation under State or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, if:
    • the accident involved bodily injury to any person who, as a result of injury, immediately received medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or
    • one or more vehicles incurred disabling damage as a result of the accident, requiring the motor vehicle to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

Disabling damage to a vehicle results when the vehicle is precluded from departing the scene of the accident in its usual manner in daylight after simple repairs. It includes damage to motor vehicles that could have been driven, but would have been further damaged if so driven. It does not include damage which can be remedied temporarily at the scene of the accident without special tools or parts; tire disablement without other damage, even if no spare tire is available; headlight or taillight damage; or damage to turn signals, horn, or windshield wipers which make them inoperative.

When any of the above conditions occur, the driver must remain readily available for alcohol and/or controlled substances testing. An alcohol test must be administered to the driver within eight hours of the accident. The driver must not use alcohol during the eight hours following the accident or until after he/she has taken an alcohol test, whichever occurs first. A controlled substances test must be administered to the driver within thirty-two hours following an accident.

This shall not be construed to require the delay of necessary medical attention for injured people following an accident or to prohibit a driver from leaving the scene of an accident for the period necessary to obtain assistance in responding to the accident, or to obtain necessary emergency medical care.

Return-to-Duty Testing: If a driver has a verified positive test result for either alcohol or controlled substances under one of the above categories and remains employed with the University, he/she will then be subject to return-to-duty testing before being permitted to perform a safety-sensitive function. A driver who has tested positive for an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater must receive a return-to-duty alcohol test with a result indicating an alcohol concentration of less than 0.02 before returning to duty requiring the performance of a safety-sensitive function. A driver who has tested positive for controlled substances must receive a return-to-duty controlled substances test with a result indicating a verified negative result for controlled substances use.

Follow-Up Testing: Following a determination that a driver is in need of assistance in resolving problems associated with alcohol misuse and/or controlled substances use, the department will ensure that the driver is subject to unannounced follow-up alcohol and/or controlled substances testing as directed by a substance abuse professional. Alcohol tests will only be conducted when the driver is performing safety-sensitive functions, just before the driver is to perform safety-sensitive functions, or just after the driver has ceased performing safety-sensitive functions. Controlled substances tests may be conducted at any time while the driver is on duty.

There will be at least six tests in the first twelve (12) months following the driver’s return to duty. Follow-up testing shall not exceed sixty (60) months from the date of the driver’s return to duty. The substance abuse professional may terminate the requirement for follow-up testing at any time after the first six tests have been administered, if he/she determines that such testing is no longer necessary.

TESTING PROCEDURES AND CONFIDENTIALITY

All alcohol and controlled substances testing will be performed by an independent contractor. Testing procedures will conform to both federal law and North Carolina law and will be incorporated into and made part of this policy. The procedures are designed to protect the driver and the integrity of the testing processes, safeguard the validity of the test results, and ensure that those results are attributed to the correct driver. The driver’s hiring department is responsible for paying the costs associated with testing.

Split-sample urine tests will be used to test for controlled substances. These tests will test for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine. Breath tests will be used to test for the presence of the intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol or other low molecular weight alcohols including methyl or isopropyl alcohol.

A driver is entitled, upon written request, to obtain copies of any records pertaining to the driver’s use of alcohol and/or controlled substances, including any records pertaining to his/her alcohol or controlled substances tests. The University will notify a driver of the results of controlled substances test if the results are positive, and will inform the driver which controlled substance(s) were verified positive.

The University will make available copies of all results for employer alcohol and/or controlled substances testing conducted under this part and any other information pertaining to the employer’s alcohol misuse and/or controlled substances use prevention program, when requested by the Secretary of Transportation, any DOT agency, or any State or local officials with regulatory authority over the University or any of its drivers.

When requested by the National Transportation Safety Board as part of an accident investigation, the University shall disclose information related to the administration of a post-accident alcohol and/or controlled substance test administered following the accident under investigation.

The University will release information regarding a driver’s records as directed by the specific, written consent of the driver authorizing release of the information to an identified person. Release of such information by the person receiving the information is permitted only in accordance with the terms of the employee’s consent. Further, the University will make available records to a subsequent employer upon receipt of a written request from a driver. Disclosure by the subsequent employer is permitted only as expressly authorized by the terms of the driver’s request.

The University may disclose information required to be maintained by this program pertaining to a driver to the decision maker in a lawsuit, grievance, or administrative proceeding initiated b y or on behalf of the individual, and arising from a positive DOT drug or alcohol test or a refusal to test of this part. Additionally, the University may disclose information in criminal or civil actions in accordance with the requirements of this program.

TRAINING OF SUPERVISORS AND EMPLOYEES

The University will provide training for supervisors on the indications of alcohol misuse and controlled substances use. Periodic retraining of supervisors will be within the discretion of their departments.

The University will provide a copy of this policy and testing procedures to all covered employees and will include available resources to assist employees with problems related to the use of alcohol and/or controlled substances.

CONSEQUENCES OF REFUSING TO SUBMIT TO AN ALCOHOL OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES TEST

A driver will be considered to have refused to submit to an alcohol or controlled substances test when, after he/she has received notice of the requirement for testing in accordance with the provisions of this policy:

  • he/she fails to provide adequate breath for alcohol testing without a valid medical explanation; or
  • he/she fails to provide an adequate urine sample for controlled substances testing without a genuine inability to provide a specimen (as determined by a medical evaluation); or
  • he/she engages in conduct that clearly obstructs the testing process.

A driver who refuses to submit to an alcohol and/or controlled substances test will not be permitted to perform or continue to perform safety-sensitive functions and will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLATIONS OF THIS POLICY

Any driver or department supervisor who violates the requirements of this policy will be subject to federal civil and criminal penalties and the University disciplinary procedure.

The department will advise a driver who has engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy of the resources available to the driver for evaluating and resolving problems associated with the misuse of alcohol and use of controlled substances, including the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of substance abuse professionals and counseling and treatment programs.

Any driver who engages in conduct prohibited by this policy shall not perform any safety-sensitive function in the absence of an evaluation by a substance abuse professional and successful completion of any required testing and/or other assistance needed to resolve the driver’s problems associated with alcohol misuse and controlled substances use. The University is not required to pay for the driver’s treatment. It is within the University’s discretion as to whether the driver’s position will remain open during his/her treatment.

CONSEQUENCES OF CERTAIN ALCOHOL TEST RESULTS

No driver tested under this policy who has an alcohol concentration of at least 0.02 but less than 0.04 shall perform or continue to perform safety-sensitive functions for his/her department, including driving a commercial motor vehicle. The department shall not permit the driver to perform or continue to perform safety-sensitive functions until the start of the driver’s next regularly scheduled duty period, but not less than twenty-four hours following administration of the test.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT ALCOHOL AND CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND AVAILABLE RESOURCES

The Employee Assistance Program is available to all employees of the University. This program provides confidential counseling and referral services for employees who have personal problems associated with alcohol misuse and/or controlled substances use which may be affecting their work.

The Counseling Service in the Office of Human Resources is available to offer assistance regarding available methods of intervening when an alcohol or a controlled substances problem is suspected. All communications with the Counseling Service are confidential.

OTHER UNIVERSITY POLICIES WITH RESPECT TO THE USE OR POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

University Disciplinary Procedure: Any employee of the University may be disciplined for improper conduct or unsatisfactory performance of duties. Use of alcohol or controlled substances while on the job may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Refusal of a driver to submit to an alcohol or controlled substances test in connection with this policy will be considered insubordination. Disciplinary action initiated because of the driver’s conduct need not be successive. Depending on the severity of the conduct, an employee may be warned, suspended without pay, demoted, or dismissed without any prior warning. However, before any action affecting a permanent employee’s pay can be instituted, the supervisor must have management approval. See Section XIII of the Human Resources Manual for information about initiating disciplinary action.

University Policy on Illegal Drugs: Through its Policy on Illegal Drugs, the University remains committed to establishing a drug-free environment for all its employees, faculty, students, and visitors. The policy provides penalties for the manufacturing, selling, delivering, or possession of illegal drugs. Any questions about the Policy on Illegal Drugs should be directed to the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel at 962-1219.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA): The ADA prohibits discrimination in all aspects of the employment relationship, including application procedures, against a qualified individual with a disability. A “qualified individual with a disability” is an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential function(s) of the employment position that he/she holds or desires. While alcoholism is recognized as a disability under the ADA, a driver who suffers from alcoholism would not be able to perform the essential functions of the positions covered under this policy. Substance abuse disorders resulting from the current illegal use of drugs are specifically excluded from coverage under the ADA. Any questions about the ADA may be directed to either the Associate University Counsel at 962-6976 or the University’s Equal Opportunity/ADA Office at 966-3576.

This Policy is maintained by the Office of the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel