The DOT Return to Duty Process: How It Works

When an employee has violated a DOT alcohol or drug regulation, even if he is terminated, he needs Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) services. The employer is required to provide a list of qualified SAPs. The employee must be removed from safety sensitive duty until the process is complete. Failure to do so may result in fines for the employer.

The DOT Return to Duty Process involves the following:

  1. The employer provides the employee with a list of qualified SAPs. The employee calls and makes an appointment for an evaluation.
  2. The employee has a face-to-face evaluation with the SAP and is referred to a separate resource who will provide the education or treatment recommended by the SAP.
  3. Upon completion of the recommended program, the employee returns to the SAP for a follow-up evaluation to determine compliance and progress.
  4. The SAP provides the employer with documentation of compliance and a follow-up testing plan.
  5. The employer must conduct a “return-to-duty” drug screen before returning the employee to safety sensitive duty. (This test and all follow-up tests require “direct observation.”) Employees will be subject to a minimum of 6 follow-up drug screens in the first year after return to duty.

To make an appointment with a qualified Substance Abuse Professional, call Tamara Puckett, LPC, CEAP at Mississippi Substance Abuse Professional Services, Inc. (601)613-6088.


In most cases I can schedule an evaluation within 48 hours.
Please call me at
(601) 613-6088