In order to help prevent accidents and injuries resulting from the misuse of drugs and/or alcohol by school bus drivers, the Board adopts this policy in compliance with federal and state law and regulation.
The District has designated the Director of Transportation to answer driver questions about this policy and related materials:
Drug and Alcohol Testing Program
School bus drivers are subject to drug and/or alcohol testing in a variety of circumstances. The District will comply with all federal and state law and regulation regarding the implementation of a drug and alcohol testing program for school bus drivers.
The District will either establish and manage its own drug and alcohol testing program or by contract have a consortium/third-party administrator manage all, or part of, its drug and alcohol testing program for school bus drivers.
Under federal law and regulation, individuals who operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) designed to transport 16 or more occupants (including the driver) and are subject to commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements established by the United States Department of Transportation are safety-sensitive employees and are subject to the following drug and/or alcohol testing:
a) Pre-employment drug testing which will be conducted after a conditional offer to hire has been extended, but before the actual performance of safety-sensitive functions for the first time. This pre-employment testing will also be required when employees transfer to a safety-sensitive position.
b) Random drug and/or alcohol testing which will be conducted on an unannounced basis.
c) Reasonable suspicion drug and/or alcohol testing which will be conducted when reasonable suspicion exists that a driver has engaged in prohibited use of drugs and/or alcohol. The required observation for reasonable suspicion drug and/or alcohol testing must be made by a supervisor or official who has been trained in accordance with federal law and regulation.
d) Post-accident drug and/or alcohol testing which will be conducted as soon as practicable following certain occurrences involving a CMV operating on a public road.
e) Return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol testing which will be conducted on a driver who has engaged in prohibited drug and/or alcohol conduct before the driver returns to perform a safety-sensitive function.
f) Follow-up drug and/or alcohol testing which will be conducted on a driver who has engaged in prohibited drug and/or alcohol conduct and has returned to performing a safety-sensitive function. This testing will be conducted on an unannounced basis in accordance with a written follow-up testing plan developed by a substance abuse professional (SAP).
All procedures used to test for the presence of drugs and/or alcohol will conform to the requirements outlined in federal law and regulation for protecting the driver and the integrity of the testing process, safeguarding the validity of the test results, and ensuring that all test results are attributed to the correct driver.
Under New York State law and regulation, all school bus drivers, including drivers of motor vehicles covered by federal law and regulation and drivers of any other motor vehicle used for the transportation of students, children of students, teachers, and/or other supervisory persons to or from school or school activities, are subject to pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing in accordance with the provisions and requirements of federal regulations, regardless of CDL endorsement. Every school bus driver will be included in the random testing pool and must submit to testing when selected.
Prohibitions and Consequences for School Bus Drivers
Under federal law and regulation, individuals who operate a CMV designed to transport 16 or more occupants (including the driver) and are subject to CDL requirements established by the United States Department of Transportation are prohibited from:
a) Reporting for duty or remaining on duty to perform safety-sensitive functions while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater. If testing shows an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater but less than 0.04, the employee must be removed from performing safety-sensitive functions for not less than 24 hours, but no punitive action will be taken by the employer;
b) Using alcohol while performing safety-sensitive functions;
c) Performing safety-sensitive functions within four hours after using alcohol;
d) When required to take a post-accident alcohol test, using alcohol within eight hours following the accident or prior to undergoing a post-accident alcohol test, whichever comes first;
e) Refusing to submit to a drug or alcohol test required by post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion, return-to-duty, or follow-up testing requirements. Refusal to submit means the failure to provide adequate breath or urine without a valid medical explanation, receipt of verified adulterated or substituted drug test result, or conduct that clearly obstructs the testing process, such as a failure to arrive for the drug testing for failure to sign the alcohol testing form prior to specimen collection;
f) Refusing to submit to a pre-employment drug test;
g) Reporting for duty or remaining on duty, requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions, when the driver uses any drugs, as defined by federal law and regulation. This prohibition does not apply when the use is pursuant to the instructions of a licensed medical practitioner who is familiar with the driver’s medical history and has advised the driver that the substance will not adversely affect the driver’s ability to safely operate a CMV; or
h) Reporting for duty, remaining on duty, or performing a safety-sensitive function, if the driver tests positive for drugs.
Additionally, under New York State law, all school bus drivers, including drivers of motor vehicles covered by federal law and regulation and drivers of any other motor vehicle used for the transportation of students, children of students, teachers, and/or other supervisory persons to or from school or school activities, are prohibited from:
a) Consuming a drug or intoxicating liquor, regardless of its alcoholic content, or be under the influence of a drug or intoxicating liquor, within six hours before going on duty or operating, or having physical control of a bus;
b) Consuming a drug or intoxicating liquor, regardless of its alcoholic content while on duty, or operating, or in physical control of a bus; or
c) Possessing a drug or intoxicating liquor, regardless of its alcoholic content while on duty, operating or in physical control of a bus.
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that no school bus driver, including drivers of motor vehicles covered by federal law and regulation and drivers of any other motor vehicle used for the transportation of students, children of students, teachers, and/or other supervisory persons to or from school or school activities:
a) Violates any of the above listed provisions of New York State law; or
b) Be on duty or operate a school bus if, by a person’s general appearance or by a person’s conduct or by other substantiating evidence, a person appears to have consumed a drug or intoxicating liquor within the preceding eight hours.
Any violation of this policy, District procedures, and/or applicable federal and state law and regulation by a school bus driver will be grounds for disciplinary action and penalties including, but not limited to, fines, suspension, and/or discharge in accordance with the District’s and/or the vendors’ or contract bus companies’ policies, collective bargaining agreements, and applicable law.
Drivers who are found to have engaged in prohibited conduct under federal law and regulation will be removed immediately from safety-sensitive functions and will not be allowed to return to perform safety-sensitive functions until they:
a) Are evaluated by a SAP;
b) Complete any requirements for rehabilitation as set by the employer and the SAP; and
c) Pass a return-to-duty test with the result below 0.02 if the conduct involved alcohol, or a drug test with a verified negative result if the conduct involved drug use.
The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (“Clearinghouse”) is a secure online database that provides real-time information about CDL and commercial learner’s permit holder’s drug and alcohol program violations. The District will comply with all federal law and regulation regarding the Clearinghouse.
In accordance with 49 CFR Part 382, the following personal information will be collected, maintained, and reported to the Clearinghouse:
a) A verified positive, adulterated, or substituted drug test result;
b) An alcohol confirmation test with a concentration of 0.04 or higher;
c) A refusal to submit to any required test;
d) An employer’s report of actual knowledge of:
1. On duty alcohol use;
2. Pre-duty alcohol use;
3. Alcohol use following an accident; and
4. Drug use;
e) A SAP’s report of the successful completion of the return-to-duty process;
f) A negative return-to-duty test; and
g) An employer’s report of completion of follow-up testing.
All drivers are responsible for maintaining up-to-date consent forms for the District to perform Clearinghouse limited queries to determine whether drug or alcohol violation information about a particular driver exists in the Clearinghouse. Drivers who refuse or otherwise fail to provide consent for the District to conduct limited queries of the Clearinghouse will be prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, including driving commercial motor vehicles, pursuant to federal regulations.
The Superintendent or designee will ensure that each school bus driver receives a copy of educational materials that explain the requirements of drug and alcohol testing law and regulation and any policies, regulations, and/or procedures developed by the District with respect to meeting those requirements, including a detailed discussion of the procedures that will be used to test for the presence of alcohol and controlled substances, 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 Superintendent or designee will ensure that a copy of these materials is distributed to each school bus driver, who will sign for receipt of all of the above documents, as well as other appropriate personnel, prior to the start of any drug and/or alcohol testing as well as at the beginning of each school year or at the time of hire for any school bus driver. Representatives of applicable collective bargaining units will be notified of the availability of this information.
The Superintendent or designee will further ensure that each school bus driver receives educational materials concerning: the effects of drug and alcohol use on an individual’s health, work, and personal life; signs and symptoms of a drug or alcohol problem (the driver’s or a co-worker’s); and available methods of intervening when a drug or alcohol problem is suspected, including confrontation, referral to any employee assistance program, and/or referral to management.
The Superintendent or designee will arrange for training of all supervisors who may be utilized to determine whether reasonable suspicion exists to test a driver for prohibited conduct involving drugs and/or alcohol.
Records Management and Retention
Employee records relating to drug and/or alcohol testing, as well as to substance abuse and/or alcohol prevention programs, will be maintained in accordance with law and regulation. All employee drug and/or alcohol testing will be kept confidential and will only be revealed as required or authorized by law or regulation.
49 USC §§ 31136 and 31306
49 CFR Parts 40, 382, and 383
Vehicle and Traffic Law §§
Adopted as Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers and Other Safety Sensitive Personnel: October 26, 2015; Revised: March 23, 2021