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Title 49 Part 219 → Subpart B

Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter II → Part 219 → Subpart B

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 49 Part 219 → Subpart B

e-CFR data is current as of December 11, 2019

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 219 → Subpart B


Title 49: Transportation
PART 219—CONTROL OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG USE


§219.101   Alcohol and drug use prohibited.

(a) Prohibitions. Except as provided in §219.103—

(1) No regulated employee may use or possess alcohol or any controlled substance when the employee is on duty and subject to performing regulated service for a railroad.

(2) No regulated employee may report for regulated service, or go or remain on duty in regulated service, while—

(i) Under the influence of or impaired by alcohol;

(ii) Having 0.04 or more alcohol concentration in the breath or blood; or

(iii) Under the influence of or impaired by any controlled substance.

(3) No regulated employee may use alcohol for whichever is the lesser of the following periods:

(i) Within four hours of reporting for regulated service; or

(ii) After receiving notice to report for regulated service.

(4)(i) No regulated employee tested under the provisions of this part whose Federal test result indicates an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater but less than 0.04 may perform or continue to perform regulated service for a railroad, nor may a railroad permit the regulated employee to perform or continue to perform regulated service, until the start of the regulated employee's next regularly scheduled duty period, but not less than eight hours following administration of the test.

(ii) Nothing in this section prohibits a railroad from taking further action under its own independent company authority when a regulated employee tested under the provisions of this part has a Federal test result indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater, but less than 0.04. However, while a Federal test result of 0.02 or greater but less than 0.04 is a positive test and may be a violation of a railroad's operating rules, it is not a violation of this section and cannot be used to decertify an engineer under part 240 of this chapter or a conductor under part 242 of this chapter.

(5) If an employee tested under the provisions of this part has a test result indicating an alcohol concentration below 0.02, the test is negative and is not evidence of alcohol misuse. A railroad may not use a Federal test result below 0.02 either as evidence in a company proceeding or as a basis for subsequent testing under company authority. A railroad may take further action to compel cooperation in other breath or body fluid testing only if it has an independent basis for doing so. An independent basis for subsequent company authority testing will exist only when, after having a negative Federal reasonable suspicion alcohol test result, the employee exhibits additional or continuing signs and symptoms of alcohol use. If a company authority test then indicates a violation of the railroad's operating rules, this result is independent of the Federal test result and must stand on its own merits.

(b) Controlled substance. “Controlled substance” is defined by §219.5. Controlled substances are grouped as follows: marijuana, narcotics (such as heroin and codeine), stimulants (such as cocaine and amphetamines), depressants (such as barbiturates and minor tranquilizers), and hallucinogens (such as the drugs known as PCP and LSD). Controlled substances include illicit drugs (Schedule I), drugs that are required to be distributed only by a medical practitioner's prescription or other authorization (Schedules II through IV, and some drugs on Schedule V), and certain preparations for which distribution is through documented over the counter sales (Schedule V only).

(c) Railroad rules. Nothing in this section restricts a railroad from imposing an absolute prohibition on the presence of alcohol or any drug in the body fluids of persons in its employ, whether in furtherance of the purpose of this part or for other purposes.

(d) Construction. This section may not be construed to prohibit the presence of an unopened container of an alcoholic beverage in a private motor vehicle that is not subject to use in the business of the railroad; nor may it be construed to restrict a railroad from prohibiting such presence under its own rules.

[66 FR 41973, Aug. 9, 2001, as amended at 81 FR 37928, June 10, 2016]

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§219.102   Prohibition on abuse of controlled substances.

No regulated employee may use a controlled substance at any time, whether on duty or off duty, except as permitted by §219.103.

[81 FR 37929, June 10, 2016]

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§219.103   Prescribed and over-the-counter drugs.

(a) This subpart does not prohibit the use of a controlled substance (on Schedules II through V of the controlled substance list) prescribed or authorized by a medical practitioner, or possession incident to such use, if—

(1) The treating medical practitioner or a physician designated by the railroad has made a good faith judgment, with notice of the employee's assigned duties and on the basis of the available medical history, that use of the substance by the employee at the prescribed or authorized dosage level is consistent with the safe performance of the employee's duties;

(2) The substance is used at the dosage prescribed or authorized; and

(3) In the event the employee is being treated by more than one medical practitioner, at least one treating medical practitioner has been informed of all medications authorized or prescribed and has determined that use of the medications is consistent with the safe performance of the employee's duties (and the employee has observed any restrictions imposed with respect to use of the medications in combination).

(b) This subpart does not restrict any discretion available to the railroad to require that employees notify the railroad of therapeutic drug use or obtain prior approval for such use.

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§219.104   Responsive action.

(a) Removal from regulated service. (1) If a railroad determines that a regulated employee has violated §219.101 or §219.102, or the alcohol or controlled substances misuse rule of another DOT agency, the railroad must immediately remove the employee from regulated service and the procedures described in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section apply.

(2) If a regulated employee refuses to provide a breath or body fluid specimen or specimens when required to by the railroad under a provision of this part, a railroad must immediately remove the regulated employee from regulated service, and the procedures described in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section apply. This provision also applies to Federal reasonable cause testing under subpart E of this part (if the railroad has elected to conduct this testing under Federal authority).

(b) Notice. Before or upon removing a regulated employee from regulated service under this section, a railroad must provide written notice to the employee of the reason for this action. A railroad may provide a regulated employee with an initial verbal notice so long as it provides a follow-up written notice to the employee as soon as possible. In addition to the reason for the employee's withdrawal from regulated service, the written notice must also inform the regulated employee that he may not perform any DOT safety-sensitive duties until he completes the return-to-duty process of part 40.

(c) Hearing procedures. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(5) of this section, if a regulated employee denies that a test result or other information is valid evidence of a §219.101 or §219.102 violation, the regulated employee may demand and must be provided an opportunity for a prompt post-suspension hearing before a presiding officer other than the charging official. This hearing may be consolidated with any disciplinary hearing arising from the same accident or incident (or conduct directly related thereto), but the presiding officer must make separate findings as to compliance with §§219.101 and 219.102.

(2) The hearing must be convened within the period specified in the applicable collective bargaining agreement. In the absence of an agreement provision, the regulated employee may demand that the hearing be convened within 10 calendar days of the employee's suspension or, in the case of a regulated employee who is unavailable due to injury, illness, or other sufficient cause, within 10 days of the date the regulated employee becomes available for the hearing.

(3) A post-suspension proceeding conforming to the requirements of an applicable collective bargaining agreement, together with the provisions for adjustment of disputes under sec. 3 of the Railway Labor Act (49 U.S.C. 153), satisfies the procedural requirements of this paragraph (c).

(4) With respect to a removal or other adverse action taken as a consequence of a positive test result or refusal in a test authorized or required by this part, nothing in this part may be deemed to abridge any procedural rights or remedies consistent with this part that are available to a regulated employee under a collective bargaining agreement, the Railway Labor Act, or (with respect to employment at will) at common law.

(5) Nothing in this part restricts the discretion of a railroad to treat a regulated employee's denial of prohibited alcohol or drug use as a waiver of any privilege the regulated employee would otherwise enjoy to have such prohibited alcohol or drug use treated as a non-disciplinary matter or to have discipline held in abeyance.

(d) A railroad must comply with the requirements for Substance Abuse Professional evaluations, the return-to-duty process, and follow-up testing contained in part 40 of this title.

(1) Post-accident toxicology testing exception. If a regulated employee has a post-accident toxicology test result under subpart C of this part that is positive for a drug not listed in §40.5's definition of “Drugs,” a railroad may conduct the employee's return-to-duty and follow-up tests under part 40, or may conduct the employee's return-to-duty and follow-up tests under its own authority to comply with the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section, so long as its testing procedures are otherwise identical to those of part 40, and include the specific drug for which the violation occurred, on an expanded drug testing panel.

(e) Applicability. (1) This section does not apply to actions based on breath or body fluid tests for alcohol or drugs that are conducted exclusively under authority other than that provided in this part (e.g., testing under a company medical policy, testing for cause wholly independent of the subpart E Federal authority of this part, or testing under a labor agreement).

(2) This section does not apply to Federal alcohol tests indicating an alcohol concentration of less than 0.04.

(3) This section does not apply to a locomotive engineer or conductor who has an off-duty conviction for, or a completed state action to cancel, revoke, suspend, or deny a motor vehicle driver's license for operating while under the influence of or impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance. (However, this information remains relevant for the purpose of locomotive engineer or conductor certification, according to the requirements of parts 240 or 242 of this chapter.)

(4) This section does not apply to an applicant who declines to be subject to pre-employment testing and withdraws an application for employment before the test begins. The determination of when a drug or alcohol test begins is made according to the provisions found in subparts E and L of part 40 of this title.

(5) Paragraph (c) of this section does not apply to an applicant who tests positive or refuses a DOT pre-employment test.

(6) As provided by §40.25(j) of this title, paragraph (d) of this section applies to any DOT-regulated employer seeking to hire for DOT safety-sensitive functions an applicant who tested positive or who refused a DOT pre-employment test.

[81 FR 37929, June 10, 2016]

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§219.105   Railroad's duty to prevent violations.

(a) A railroad may not, with actual knowledge, permit a regulated employee to go or remain on duty in regulated service in violation of the prohibitions of §219.101 or §219.102. As used in this section, the actual knowledge imputed to the railroad is limited to that of a railroad management employee (such as a supervisor deemed an “officer,” whether or not such person is a corporate officer) or a supervisory employee in the offending regulated employee's chain of command. A railroad management or supervisory employee has actual knowledge of a violation when he or she:

(1) Personally observes a regulated employee use or possess alcohol or use drugs in violation of this subpart. It is not sufficient for actual knowledge if the supervisory or management employee merely observes the signs and symptoms of alcohol or drug use that require a reasonable suspicion test under §219.301;

(2) Receives information regarding a violation of this subpart from a previous employer of a regulated employee, in response to a background information request required by §40.25 of this title; or

(3) Receives a regulated employee's admission of prohibited alcohol possession or prohibited alcohol or drug use.

(b) A railroad must exercise due diligence to assure compliance with §§219.101 and 219.102 by each regulated employee.

(c) A railroad's alcohol and/or drug use education, prevention, identification, intervention, and rehabilitation programs and policies must be designed and implemented in such a way that they do not circumvent or otherwise undermine the requirements, standards, and policies of this part. Upon FRA's request, a railroad must make available for FRA review all documents, data, or other records related to such programs and policies.

(d) Each year, a railroad's supervisors must conduct and record a number of “Rule G” employee observations at a minimum equal to twice the railroad's total number of regulated employees. Each “Rule G” observation must be made sufficiently close to an individual regulated employee to determine whether the employee is displaying signs and symptoms indicative of a violation of the prohibitions of this part.

[81 FR 37930, June 10, 2016]

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§219.107   Consequences of refusal.

(a) A regulated employee who refuses to provide a breath or body fluid specimen or specimens when required to by the railroad under a provision of this part must be withdrawn from regulated service for a period of nine (9) months. Per the requirements of part 40 of this title, a regulated employee who provides an adulterated or substituted specimen is deemed to have refused to provide the required specimen and must be withdrawn from regulated service in accordance with this section.

(b) Notice. Before or upon withdrawing a regulated employee from regulated service under this section, a railroad must provide written notice to the employee of the reason for this action, and the procedures described in §219.104(c) apply. A railroad may provide a regulated employee with an initial verbal notice so long as it provides a follow-up written notice as soon as possible.

(c) The withdrawal required by this section applies only to an employee's performance of regulated service for any railroad with notice of such withdrawal. During the period of withdrawal, a railroad with notice of such withdrawal must not authorize or permit the employee to perform any regulated service for the railroad.

(d) The requirement of withdrawal for nine (9) months does not limit any discretion on the part of the railroad to impose additional sanctions for the same or related conduct.

(e) Upon the expiration of the nine month period described in this section, a railroad may permit an employee to return to regulated service only under the conditions specified in §219.104(d), and the regulated employee must be subject to return-to-duty and follow-up tests, as provided by that section.

[81 FR 37930, June 10, 2016]

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