Safety is the first priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). To ensure that transportation providers employ workers who are 100% drug- and alcohol-free, the DOT developed regulations for a Alcohol and Drug Testing Program and created the position of Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) to assist those who are identified through this program as having a problem with drugs and/or alcohol.
A U.S. Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) operates as a “gatekeeper” of the return-to-duty process and provides an important service to the employee, the employer and the traveling public. SAPs represent the major decision point (and in some cases the only decision point) an employer may have in choosing whether or not to place an employee behind the steering wheel of a school bus, in the cockpit of a plane, at the helm of an oil tanker, at the throttle of a train, in the engineer compartment of a subway car or at the emergency control valves of a natural gas pipeline. A SAP’s responsibility to the public is enormous.
Specifically, Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) evaluate workers who have violated a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol program regulation and make recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing and continuing care.