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    SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT

    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17109

     

    POLICY

     ALCOHOL AND CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES FOR COVERED DRIVERS

     

    1.                Purpose

    This policy is adopted to comply with federal regulatory mandates and to establish programs and practices designed to help prevent accidents and injuries resulting from the misuse of alcohol or controlled substances by certain school bus and van drivers and other employees who drive commercial vehicles for Susquehanna Township School District (STSD).

     

    2.                  Authority SC510

                           This policy is adopted in accordance with the authority granted to School Boards under Section 510 of the Public
                           School Code 1949, as amended, permitting School Boards to adopt reasonable rules and regulations regarding the
                           management of school district affairs and the conduct and department of employees during the time they are
                           engaged in the performance of their duties.

     

    3.               Definition

    A “covered driver” under this policy shall mean any person who is an employee of STSD and who drives or operates for STSD, a motor vehicle: (a) with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds; or (b) designed to transport sixteen (16) or more passengers, including the driver. The phrase includes drivers and mechanics who operate such casual, intermittent or occasional individuals; and leased drivers and independent owner-operator contractors who are either directly employed by or under lease to STSD or who operates a bus owned or leased by STSD.

     

    4.                  Policy

    A.    Employee Prohibitions

           1.  No covered driver shall report for duty or remain on duty:

    a.  while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater

    b.    while possessing alcohol;

    c.    while using alcohol; or

    d.    within eight (8) hours after using alcohol.

     

           2.  No covered driver shall report for duty or remain on duty when the driver used any controlled substances
    (except when the use is pursuant to written instructions or prescription of a physician who has advised the driver that the substance does not adversely affect the driver’s ability to safely operate the school bus) or tests positive for controlled substances.

     

             3.   No covered driver required to take a post-accident alcohol test under this policy shall use alcohol for eight (8) hours following the accident, or until she/he undergoes a post-accident alcohol test, whichever occurs 
     first.

     

             4.  No covered substances test required under this policy, a random alcohol or controlled substance test required under this policy, a reasonable suspicion alcohol or controlled substances test required under this policy, or a follow-up alcohol or controlled substances test required under this policy.

     

             5.  No individual shall be hired by STSD as a covered driver covered by this policy or transferred into a covered driver position after December 31, 1995, unless and until:

     

    1. she/he has undergone and passed pre-employment testing for controlled substances in accordance with this policy;

    2. she/he has either certified that she/he has not been employed for the previous two (2) years or has given written consent and authorization for STSD to obtain information from the individual’s employers during the preceding two (2) years pertaining to the driver’s alcohol tests showing concentration results of 0.04 or greater, positive controlled substances test results, and refusals to be tested, with the preceding two (2) years, which are maintained by the driver’s previous employers; and

    3. STSD has received the required information from the driver’s previous employer, if any.

     

    A covered driver candidate shall not be recommended for hire if the Supervisor-Personnel Administration obtains information on the candidate’s alcohol test with a concentration of 0.04 or greater, verified positive controlled substances test result, or refusal to be tested, without obtaining records of a subsequent substance abuse professional’s evaluation and/or determination under 49 CFR Section 382.401 (c) (4) and compliance with 49 CFR Section 382.309.

     

                6.  Any covered driver shall be deemed to have consented to such testing as is required of him/her by this
       policy. Consent is implied by agreeing to continue to drive a covered school bus after notification of this
       policy.

     

    B.     Duties of Covered Drivers

     

    1.  Covered drivers shall comply with all mandates and prohibitions contained in this policy.

     

    2.  Covered drivers shall cooperate fully with all required testing and shall promptly report to all required testing as directed.

     

    3.  Covered drivers are required to notify the District Business Manager and the Coordinator of Transportation Services, if they are taking any therapeutic drugs and shall supply a written certification on a form provided by STSD from the physician prescribing the drug(s) that the substance(s) will not adversely affect the driver’s ability to safely operate a bus or motor vehicle.

     

    C.     Consequences for Drivers Engaging in Substance Use-Related Conduct

     

    1.  Consistent with contractual, legal and constitutional requirements, a determination shall be made as to the appropriate disciplinary action, if any, to be imposed upon any covered driver who violates any of the prohibitions or mandates set forth in this policy. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to limit the authority of STSD to impose discipline, including discharge, as it shall determine so long as the minimums set forth in this policy are satisfied.

     

    2.   Any covered driver tested under this policy who is found to have an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater but less than 0.04 shall be suspended without pay at least until the start of the driver’s next regularly scheduled duty period that is at least twenty-four (24) hours following administration of the test.

     

    3.  Any covered driver: (1) who reports or remains on duty while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, possessing alcohol; using alcohol or having used alcohol within eight (8) hours of reporting to work; or (2) who reports or remains on duty when the driver uses or has used any controlled substance (except when the use is pursuant to the written instructions or prescription of a physician who has advised the driver that the substance does not adversely affect the driver’s ability to safely drive the bus and the driver has so advised the District Business Manager and the Coordinator of Transportation Services in accordance with the policy) or tests positive for controlled substances; or (3) who consumes alcohol in contravention of a post-accident alcohol test requirement or refuses to submit to any drug or alcohol test required under this policy; and who is not to be discharged, shall be suspended without pay and shall not be reinstated until after the following requirements have been met:

     

    a.  the driver has been advised of the resources available to the driver in evaluating and resolving problems associated with the misuse of alcohol and the use of controlled substances, including the names, addresses and telephone numbers of substance abuse professionals and counseling and treatment programs, and

     

    b.  the driver has been evaluated at the employee’s own cost by a substance abuse professional (S.A.P.) who shall determine what assistance, if any, the employee needs in resolving problems associated with alcohol misuse and controlled substances use; and

     

    c.  the driver has undergone a return-to-duty alcohol test with a result indicating an alcohol concentration of less than 0.02 if the conduct involved alcohol, or a controlled substance test with a verified negative result if the conduct involved a controlled substance: and

     

    d.  if the driver has been identified as needing assistance in resolving problems associated with alcohol misuse or controlled substances use, the driver shall be evaluated by a substance abuse professional to determine that the drive has properly followed any rehabilitation program prescribed; and

     

    e.  the driver serves the length of the suspension and meets any other conditions of reinstatement that may have been imposed by STSD.

     

          4.  The minimum suspensions without pay under section 3 hereof shall be as follows. STSD may impose discipline, including discharge, which exceeds the following minimums:

     

    a.  a driver with an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater but less than 0.04 shall be suspended without pay until the next scheduled duty period that is at least twenty-four (24) hours following the administration of the test.

     

          5.  Where alcohol testing shows a concentration of 0.1 or greater after a driver has been driving or controlled substances testing shows a positive result and the driver has not advised STSD of therapeutic drug use prescribed by a physician in accordance with this policy, the matter shall be reported to the police.

     

    D.    Duties of the District Business Manager and Coordinator of Transportation Services

          1.  The District Business Manager and Coordinator of Transportation Services shall take action to insure that covered drivers do not violate the prohibitions and mandates set forth in this policy. If the DBM and CTS or his/her designee has reasonable suspicion that a covered driver has violated any prohibition or mandate, the following actions shall be taken.

     

    a.  The covered driver shall be promptly contacted and an informal hearing shall be conducted. The covered driver shall be advised of the allegations and be given an opportunity to tell his/her side of the story.

     

    b.  If the suspicion relates to the covered driver’s alcohol concentration levels or use of alcohol during or prior to reporting to work, the covered driver shall be required to submit to an alcohol test in accordance with section 4 (D) 2 of this policy.

     

    c.  If the suspicion relates to the covered driver’s use of controlled substances during or prior to reporting to work, the covered driver shall be required to submit to a controlled substances test in accordance with section 4 (D) 2 of this policy.

     

    d.  If after investigation, testing as may be required, and consideration of the covered driver’s input, it is determined by the DBM and CTS that the covered driver violated any of his/her obligations, the matter shall be referred to the Supervisor-Personnel Administration for appropriate action.

     

          2.  The DBM and CTS shall insure that the following tests are performed:

    Pre-employment testing. Prior to recommending to the Board that any individual be hired as a covered driver, the candidate shall undergo testing for controlled substances. No individual shall be recommended to the Board to be hired as a covered driver who has not been administered such tests with a result indicating a negative controlled substances result.

     

    Post-accident testing. As soon as practicable following a school bus accident involving loss of human life or where the driver receives a citation under state or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, the covered driver shall be tested for alcohol and controlled substances.

     

    ·         If a post-accident alcohol test is not administered within two (2) hours following the accident, the DBM and CTS or his/her designee shall prepare and maintain a record stating the reasons the test was not promptly administered. If the test is not administered within eight (8) hours following the accident, attempts to administer the alcohol test shall cease and the DBM and CTS or his/her designee shall prepare and maintain the same record.

     

    ·         If a post-accident controlled substances test is not administered within thirty-two (32) hours following the accident, attempts to administer the test shall cease and the DBM and CTS or his/her designee shall prepare and maintain a record stating the reasons why the test was not administered within the required time.

     

    ·         A breath or blood test for the use of alcohol or a urine test for the use of controlled substances conducted by federal, state or local officials or police having authority to conduct such testing shall be considered to meet the requirements of this policy if the results of the test will be turned over to STSD.

     

    Random Testing. Random alcohol and controlled substances testing shall be conducted on that percentage of covered drivers as mandated from time to time by the federal government. The selection of covered drivers for random testing shall be by a scientifically valid method so that each covered driver shall have an equal chance of being testing each time selections are made. These tests shall be unannounced and the tests shall be spread reasonable throughout the year.

     

    ·         Each covered driver who is notified of selection for random testing shall proceed to the test site immediately.

     

    ·         Random alcohol testing may be conducted only just before the covered driver is to begin driving a school bus or just after the covered driver has finished driving a school bus.

     

    Reasonable suspicion testing. A covered driver shall be required to submit to an alcohol and/or controlled substances test when the DBM and CTS or his/her designee(s) has reasonable suspicion that the covered driver is using or has used alcohol or controlled substances in violation of the prohibitions or mandates of this policy. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, such suspicion may be formed after an accident so as to permit post-accident testing not otherwise authorized herein.

     

    ·       The determination that reasonable suspicion exists to require a covered driver to undergo testing must be based on specific, contemporaneous, articulate observations concerning the appearance, behavior, speech or body odors of the covered driver. The observations may include indications of the chronic and withdrawal effects of controlled substances. Reasonable suspicion as to alcohol use may be based only on observations made while the covered driver is driving or just before the covered driver begins driving or just after the covered driver has ceased driving.

     

    ·         The DBM and CTS and supervisors she/he designates shall obtain necessary training that covers the physical, behavioral, speech and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances. Only those so trained are permitted to make the determination that can lead to reasonable suspicion testing.

     

    ·         Reasonable suspicion testing may not be performed by the individual who made the determination that there was reasonable suspicion for the testing.

     

    ·         A written record shall be prepared and maintained setting forth the basis and observations for the reasonable suspicion leading to the testing. With respect to suspicion related to controlled substances, such records shall be made and signed by the person who made the observations within twenty-four (24) hours of the observed behavior or before the results of the controlled substances test are released, whichever is earlier.

     

    ·         Reasonable suspicion alcohol testing shall be required while the covered driver is driving, just before the covered driver is to drive or just after the covered driver has ceased driving. If an alcohol test is not administered within two (2) hours following the determination that reasonable suspicion exists, the DBM and CTS shall prepare and maintain a record stating the reasons the test was not promptly administered. If the test is not administered within eight (8) hours following an accident, attempts to administer the alcohol tests shall cease and the DBM and CTS shall prepare and maintain the same record. Notwithstanding the absence of a reasonable suspicion alcohol test, where there was reasonable suspicion of alcohol use, the covered driver shall not be permitted to drive until:

     

    An alcohol test is administered and the covered driver’s alcohol concentration measures less than 0.02 or

     

    Twenty-four (24) hours have elapsed following the determination of reasonable suspicion

     

    Return-to-duty-testing. No covered driver may return to work after engaging in conduct prohibited by this policy until after she/he has, as appropriate, undergone an alcohol test with a result indicating an alcohol concentration of less than 0.02 or a controlled substances test with a result indicating a verified negative result for controlled substance use.

     

    Follow-up testingAny covered driver who is in need of assistance in resolving problems associated with alcohol misuse and/or use of controlled substances shall be subject to unannounced follow-up testing as directed by a substance abuse professional. Follow-up alcohol testing shall be conducted only when the covered driver is to drive or just after the covered driver has stopped driving.

     

          3.   The Supervisor-Personnel Administration shall be STSD’s representative for purposes of receiving and handling alcohol and drug test results. Those results shall be handled by all employees made aware of same in a confidential manner in accordance with applicable federal, state and local law and regulations.

     

          4.   The Supervisor-Personnel Administration shall advise a covered driver of the results of random, reasonable suspicion and post-accident tests if the test results show an alcohol concentration in excess of 0.02 or are verified as positive in the case of controlled substances. The covered driver shall be advised which controlled substance or substances were verified as positive. The Supervisor-Personnel Administration shall (1) make reasonable efforts to contact and request each covered driver who submitted a specimen under this policy, regardless of the covered driver’s employment status, to contact and discuss the results of the controlled substances test with a medical review officer who has been unable to contact the covered driver; and (2) notify within twenty-four (24) hours the medical review officer that the covered driver has been notified to contact the medical review officer.

     

          5.   The Supervisor-Personnel Administration shall develop and implement procedures for the preparation, maintenance, retention and disclosure of records as required by law.

     

          6.   The Supervisor-Personnel Administration shall recommend the actions necessary to insure that STSD can perform the testing described in this policy and has the services of a qualified substance abuse professional, and a certified laboratory.

     

          7.     The Supervisor-personnel Administration shall develop and provide educational materials that explain the requirements of this policy and STSD’s policies and procedures with respect to meeting said requirements. Materials in compliance with 49 CFR Section 382.601 shall be distributed to each covered driver prior to the start of STSD’s testing under this policy and to each driver subsequently hired or transferred into a school bus driving position. Each driver shall be required to sign a statement certifying that she/he has received a copy of the material, and the DBM and CTS shall maintain the original copy of the signed certification.

     

            8.  The Supervisor-Personnel Administration shall ensure that access is provided to all STSD facilities utilized in complying with the requirements of the Federal Highway Administration, the Secretary of Transportation, any Department of Transportation agency, or any state or local official with regulatory over STSD or any of its drivers.

     

    E.     Miscellaneous

     

    1.    This policy was adopted, in part, because of the requirements imposed under 49 CFR Section 382.101 et seq. Should those regulations be repealed or declared invalid, in whole or in part, this policy shall become wholly void and a new policy will be adopted if and as necessary to comply with law.

     

    2.      It is not intended that this policy create any practices and STSD expressly adopts this policy on an experimental basis. STSD Board directs the administration of STSD to evaluate the effects of this policy after it has been in operation for two (2) full years and to advise the Board on the effects of this policy in general.

     

    3.     This policy shall not be construed to limit the authority of STSD to conduct drug or alcohol testing on individuals not covered by this policy or to conduct such testing on individuals covered by this policy at times other than stated herein.