Random Drug & Alcohol Screening is a key safety component for businesses, especially those in the transportation industry regulated by the US Department of Transportation, but creates situations where an expert in the set up and administration of such programs is necessary to provide critical review if such programs were not followed correctly and there were errors in the program administration.
Dr. Fletcher’s expertise and experience as a certified MRO and certified SAP along with his medical practice, SafeWorks Illinois, that sets up and runs random drug and alcohol programs for regulated businesses, such as those subject to FMCSA and FTA regulations, as well as non-regulated employers, gives him a tremendous edge up on the critical review of these programs to provide expert testimony.
For more than 15 years, Dr. Fletcher served as the Chief Medical Officer for Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and SafeWorks operated their state wide testing program in their mobile health vans that went all over the State doing breath alcohol tests (BAT) and urine drug testing. He testified in more than 15 arbitrations related to this drug and alcohol program.
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 commercial motor carriers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency delegated with the authority and responsibility for issuing these implementing rules. These rules are encompassed in 49 CFR Part 382
For that portion of the transportation industry having to do with the provision of and service to the public of mass transportation, the Federal Transit Administration (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.
In January 2019, the FTA increased the minimum rate of random drug testing from 25 percent to 50 percent of covered employees for FTA employers subject to drug and alcohol regulation. This change is due to an increase in the industry’s ‘‘positive rate’’ as reflected in random drug test data for calendar year 2017.
Because he possesses he experience and training to serve to review random drug and alcohol programs to ensure they are meeting Federal and industry standards, Dr Fletcher can provide his medical expert opinion in deposition or at trial for the following:
- Rapid Drug Screen (5 and 10 panel) testing procedures and interpretation of results
- Evaluate Breath Alcohol Testing protocols and integrity of process
- Review of alternate specimen collections from hair, saliva, and sweat testing
- Review of evidentiary Chain of Custody (Federal and Non-Federal) documentation for flaws and accuracy
- Evaluate the integrity of urine drug screen collections procedures and protocols
- Ensure that an employer has properly conducted post-accident testing according to Federal regulations and industry standards