Policies and Procedures Handbook


Last Updated: 5/31/2005
Garrett County Public Schools
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550
(301)334-8900

PROCEDURE FOR BUS DRIVER DRUG TESTING

Administrative Procedure

PURPOSE

The Garrett County Public Schools prohibits the use, possession, purchase, sale, distribution and being under the influence of or impaired by, drugs or alcohol on school property during school hours or while on school business. This policy applies to all bus drivers who operate for the Garrett County Public Schools.

For purposes of this program, the term "drug" shall include any substance the possession of which is under either the Federal Controlled Substances Act or State law, or any substance that could affect one's ability to function on the job.

The mere possession of a valid prescription or over-the-counter drug for medical reasons does not constitute a policy violation, in addition, the use of such a drug also will not constitute a policy violation, as long as the drug does not affect the driver's ability to function on the job. Legally prescribed medications must be written ONLY for the applicant or the driver using or possessing the prescribed medication. Any applicant or driver taking a medication prescribed for another person will be in violation of this policy.

PROCEDURE

Drug Testing Program:

Bus drivers will be subject to drug and alcohol testing in four (4) circumstances:

    1. all applicants for bus driver positions will be tested prior to employment;
    2. all drivers will be subject to random testing;
    3. a driver will be tested after any accident or incident
    4. a driver will be tested whenever there is reasonable cause to suspect that the driver
may have used drugs or alcohol. All testing will be performed by a certified
        laboratory with trained technicians.

Any bus driver who refuses a drug test authorized under this policy will be presumed to have used illegal drugs or alcohol in violation of this policy and will be subject to discharge. Moreover, such refusal will constitute insubordination and will serve as further grounds for discharge.

Pre-Employment Testing: All applicants for bus driver positions with the Garrett County Public Schools are required to undergo a pre-employment physical
examination. In addition to the physical examination, applicants will be required to submit a urine sample which will be tested for the presence of drugs.

Random Testing: All Garrett County Public School bus drivers will be subject to testing through random selection. Each bus driver who is selected will be required to submit a urine sample which will be tested for the presence of drugs. Random tests will occur during five (5) designated times during the year. At each designated time ten percent (10%) of the total number of drivers will be tested. This will result in fifty percent (50%) of the total number of drivers being tested per year. All drivers will be in the selection pool for each random designated time. The five designated times are: July-October; November-December; January-February; March-April; May-June. The driver will have twenty-four (24) hours from the time he/she is notified to go to an approved collection site. A driver may be tested more than one time in a given year.

Post-Accident Testing: Following an accident or incident involving a school bus and/or the school bus driver, the Garrett County Public Schools will require the bus driver to submit to a urine test and/or a blood test and/or a breathalyzer test. In addition, the Garrett County Public Schools may rely on any test which the police or any other investigative authority shall perform.

An "accident or incident" shall be defined as any occurrence in which the school bus is involved that results in a death, personal injury and/or property damage or when a vehicle has left the roadway under other than in the normal course of operations. This is regardless of whether or not persons were injured or property was damaged or who was responsible for the accident or injury. An occurrence qualifies as an "accident or incident" whether the vehicle was in motion, temporarily stopped, parked or being loaded or unloaded, or on either public or private property.

Post-accident testing should be completed promptly after the accident, but in no case later than four (4) hours after the accident.

Following the accident and the determination thereof, the driver will go to an approved certified lab collection center in order to have the urine, blood or breathalyzer test, and/or other appropriate tests. If the driver requires hospital care, the Garrett County Public Schools will make arrangements to assure that the appropriate tests are performed at the hospital.

Reasonable Cause Testing: Garrett County Public School bus drivers will be required to submit to a urine test and/or a blood test and/or a breathalyzer test for drugs whenever the Garrett County Public Schools has "reasonable cause" to suspect that the driver may have used drugs or alcohol in violation of this policy. "Reasonable cause" includes, but is not limited to, any fact, physical sign, symptom or pattern of performance or behavior which leads the observer to reasonably suspect that the driver may have used drugs or alcohol. For example, reasonable cause may be based upon such physical signs as: odor of alcohol on breath, slurred speech, dilated pupils, inability to walk, lack of coordination, incoherence, tremors, convulsions, or paranoia.

When possible, the conduct or event giving rise to the "reasonable cause, should be witnessed by two administrators. In an emergency, if only one administrator is available, then only one administrator need witness the conduct or event in order to support an order to test. The driver who is ordered to submit to a test for "reasonable cause" will be taken to an approved collection site by the administrator.

The Garrett County Public Schools will provide training for supervisors in the detection of drug and alcohol impairment.

Drugs to be Tested:

The purpose of the drug testing program is to identify the use of any drug which affects a driver's ability to function on the job. A detectable amount in a driver's system of any illegal drug, alcohol, or over-the-counter or prescribed medication, except when prescribed by a physician, shall violate Board policy.

"A detectable amount" of drugs shall be defined as the cut-off levels set forth in the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. These levels represent the amount which can be scientifically measured to assure an accurate result.

Bus drivers will be tested for cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine, amphetamines and alcohol. Presence of these drugs at the indicated levels shall be conclusive proof of a violation of this policy. Alcohol detected and confirmed shall be conclusive proof of a violation of this policy.

Drug:

Quantity:  Screen/Confirmation (ng/ml)

Amphetamines 1000/500
Cannabinoids 100/15
Cocaine 300/150
Opiates 300/300
Phencyclidine 25/25
Alcohol above .00

The Garrett County Public Schools retains the right to test for any other illegal drug or other substance which impairs one's ability to function on the job.

Bus drivers taking over-the-counter or prescribed medication are responsible for knowing the effects of that medication on their duties. Bus drivers may not drive or perform other duties under the influence of any prescription or over-the-counter drug that could impair their ability to function on the job. Drivers must report to the Director of Transportation if they are using any medication that may have such an effect. A driver who is taking medication which adversely affects his/her performance will be removed from driving service temporarily and may only return when a physician has examined the driver and declared him/her fit to drive. Bus drivers may not report to work or be on Garrett County Public Schools property while impaired by alcohol. Bus drivers are prohibited from using alcohol within four hours before going on duty.

Drug Testing Procedure:

When this program requires that a bus driver be tested for drugs or alcohol, then the driver will go to an approved testing facility for the purpose of collecting the sample. When a driver is sent for a drug/alcohol test for "reasonable cause", the driver will be taken to an approved collection site by an administrator.

Once at the laboratory, the driver will be required to provide a urine or blood and/or breathalyzer sample. In addition, the driver will be required to produce a photo identification. The driver will not be directly observed while providing the urine sample but laboratory personnel will take appropriate steps to assure that the sample remains unadulterated. The laboratory will follow all DOT and National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) procedures. If the technician determines that a first sample was adulterated by the driver, then the Garrett County Public Schools may assume an inference of driver drug or alcohol use. The technician will request that the driver submit a second sample, and appropriate steps, including direct observation, may be taken to assure that a proper sample has been submitted.

After the driver has provided the sample, the laboratory will comply with appropriate chain of custody procedures and will certify that the driver has actually provided the specimen submitted for testing. Results will be reported to the approved Medical Review Officer (MRO).

In the case of negative test results, the MRO will contact the Garrett County Public Schools and the driver to report the negative laboratory findings.

A Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) confirmation test will be performed on all samples that screen positive. In the case of confirmed positive tests, the MRO will contact the driver to determine whether the use of valid prescription or non-prescription drugs could explain the positive tests. All communications with the MRO will remain confidential. If the MRO's investigation reveals a valid justification for the test results, and the MRO determines that the driver is fit for duty, then the MRO shall contact the laboratory and the tests results shall be reported as negative to the Garrett County Public Schools and the driver. If the MRO's investigation does not reveal a valid justification for the test results then the MRO will report the test results as positive to the Garrett County Public Schools. If the MRO's investigation reveals a valid justification for the positive test result, but in his/her medical judgment, he/she determines the driver as not fit for duty, he/she will report the test as negative with a statement that the driver is not medically qualified. The MRO will determine whether the driver is fit for duty based on the type and concentration of drug in the driver's system and medical history.

Refusal to submit to drug or alcohol testing at any stage of testing will result in termination.

Positive Test Results/Consequences:

Pre-Employment Testing: An applicant who tests positive for drugs during the pre-employment drug test or who refuses to take the test will not be hired.  A quantitative confirmation test will be performed on all samples that screen positive. Test results will be reported to the Director of Transportation.

Random Testing: Bus drivers will be tested for drug use during the random schedule. If that test is positive, the laboratory will perform a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) confirmation test on the same sample. If the confirmation test is negative, then no action will be taken against the driver. But if the confirmation test is positive and the MRO certifies that there is no valid justification for the test results, then the result will be reported to the Director of Transportation and the driver shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

"Reasonable Cause" Testing: Bus drivers may be tested for drugs when an administrator has reasonable cause to believe that the driver may have used drugs or alcohol. If that test result is positive, the laboratory will perform a quantitative confirmation test on the same sample. If the confirmation test is negative, then no discipline will be imposed, unless performance was otherwise unacceptable. But if the confirmation test is positive and the MRO certifies that there is no valid justification for the test result, then the results will be reported to the Director of Transportation and the driver will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Post Accident Testing: Bus drivers shall be tested for drugs and/or alcohol after an accident or incident. If that test is positive, the laboratory will perform a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) confirmation test on the same sample. If the confirmation test is negative, the driver shall be subject to discipline, under normal standards. But if the confirmation test is positive and the MRO certifies that there is no valid justification for the test result, then the results will be reported to the Director of Transportation and the driver will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Notice: Each driver who is tested positive will be notified of the test result by the Director of Transportation. In addition, the driver will receive a copy of the lab test result; a copy of the Garrett County Public Schools drug and alcohol testing policy and procedures; and a written notice of any disciplinary action. Each driver who tests positive has the right to request an independent test of the SAME specimen, by a certified N.I.D.A. laboratory at his/her own expense. Any request for an independent test must be processed by the MRO and done within seventy-two (72) hours from notice of the test results to the driver from the Garrett County Public Schools.

Refusal to Test: Refusal to submit to drug/alcohol testing at any stage of testing will result in termination. Failure to have the drug/alcohol test within the time frame stated will result in immediate termination.

Disclosure: Positive test results will be reported to the Maryland State Department of Education clearinghouse. The driver's name, social security number, driver license number and positive test results will be reported to the Maryland State Department of Education for those drugs that meet the United States Department of Transportation's standards. The clearinghouse will confirm the positive test result to any Maryland public school pupil transportation supervisor/director who requests the information.

Drug/Alcohol Assistance Services:

The Garrett County Public Schools supports the concept of drug/alcohol assistance services which provides pre-treatment evaluation and counseling, information, referrals, and follow-up services concerning drug and/or alcohol dependency. All discussions with the drug/alcohol assistance services are completely confidential. The Garrett County Public Schools encourages bus drivers to take advantage of these resources.

Drug Testing Program got a Waiver of Any Rights:

The purpose of this drug testing statement is to familiarize Garrett County Public School bus drivers with the new drug testing program. This statement is not intended to and shall not constitute a waiver of any rights possessed by the Garrett County Board of Education derived from any source whatsoever. Nothing in this statement shall be construed as limiting the Garrett County Board of Education's rights to take administrative or disciplinary action up to and including termination for involvement with drugs or alcohol not specifically addressed in this statement.

Nothing in this statement shall limit the rights of the Garrett County Public Schools as derived from existing law; rules and regulations; manuals, handbooks, and statements of policy; bulletins, memoranda, and directives; local customs and practices; labor contract provisions; and customs or practices under past or present labor contracts agreements. The Garrett County Public Schools expressly reserves all such rights and any other rights derived from any other source whatsoever. The Garrett County Public Schools may modify this statement from time to time, including when there are changes in applicable federal or State laws.

Drug/Alcohol Test Consent And Release Pre-Employment/Random/Post-Accident/Reasonable Cause

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Other Non-Instructional Operations 853.322 CAS
Adopted 8/10/93