The Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance (ODAPC) under the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) is the one in charge of all matters regarding drug and alcohol testing. The office advises the department secretary on all issues regarding national and international drug testing and control matters. The Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance is also the Department Secretary’s primary advisory body on all rules and regulations relating to drug and alcohol testing of employees of safety-sensitive transportation jobs in trucking, aviation, mass transit, railroads, pipelines, trucking and other transportation related industries. Regulations and official interpretation on matters relating to drug and alcohol screening include the proper method of conducting tests, evaluation of tests, and treatment methods required for employees returning to work after testing violations, are under the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance. The National Drug Control Strategy of the U.S. president works hand in hand with ODAPC for a common goal.
Importance of the ODAPC Program
According to Anthony R. Foxx, Secretary of Transportation (2013), the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing program is crucial in the implementation of the department’s safety missions. Truck drivers, pilots, subway operators, pipeline controllers, locomotive engineers, ship captains, bus drivers, mass transportation drivers and other related occupations, have great responsibility to the public thus their functions cannot be compromised by alcohol and drugs. Accidents linked to alcohol and drug use by safety-sensitive workers have significantly declined. However, the risk posed by alcohol misuse and use of illegal drugs in the transportation industry has not been totally eliminated. The top priority of the department is safety. Based on the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance is committed to ensure that transportation employees are free from the influence of drugs and alcohol. In connection, it is the thrust of this department to ensure that through their employers, employees comprehend the consequences of failure to comply; and that supervisors are trained to recognize the signs of alcohol abuse and drug use. Any employee found to be in violation of the DOT protocols through the drug and alcohol testing program of his or her company must be immediately removed from his safety-sensitive responsibilities.
Responsibilities of the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance
- ODAPC is tasked to create and manage regulations pertaining to drug and alcohol testing on safety-sensitive people employed in the transportation industry.
- The office lays down and implements the program for drug and alcohol testing, including the management of tests, and evaluation and treatment of employees who tested positive for illicit and controlled substances in the workplace.
- ODAPC links the U.S. President’s National Drug Control Strategy and the Department of Transportation.
The Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance works in reference and accordance with DOT’s 49 CFR Part 40.