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DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.151

Subpart G - Medical Review Officers and the Verification Process

§ 40.151 What are MROs prohibited from doing as part of the verification process?

As an MRO, you are prohibited from doing the following as part of the verification process:

(a) You must not consider any evidence from tests of urine samples or other body fluids or tissues (e.g., blood or hair samples) that are not collected or tested in accordance with this part. For example, if an employee tells you he went to his own physician, provided a urine specimen, sent it to a laboratory, and received a negative test result or a DNA test result questioning the identity of his DOT specimen, you are required to ignore this test result.

(b) It is not your function to make decisions about factual disputes between the employee and the collector concerning matters occurring at the collection site that are not reflected on the CCF (e.g., concerning allegations that the collector left the area or left open urine containers where other people could access them).

(c) It is not your function to determine whether the employer should have directed that a test occur. For example, if an employee tells you that the employer misidentified her as the subject of a random test, or directed her to take a reasonable suspicion or post-accident test without proper grounds under a DOT agency drug or alcohol regulation, you must inform the employee that you cannot play a role in deciding these issues.

(d) It is not your function to consider explanations of confirmed positive, adulterated, or substituted test results that would not, even if true, constitute a legitimate medical explanation. For example, an employee may tell you that someone slipped amphetamines into her drink at a party, that she unknowingly ingested a marijuana brownie, or that she traveled in a closed car with several people smoking crack. MROs are unlikely to be able to verify the facts of such passive or unknowing ingestion stories. Even if true, such stories do not present a legitimate medical explanation. Consequently, you must not declare a test as negative based on an explanation of this kind.

(e) You must not verify a test negative based on information that a physician recommended that the employee use a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. (e.g., under a state law that purports to authorize such recommendations, such as the “medical marijuana” laws that some states have adopted).

(f) You must not accept an assertion of consumption or other use of a hemp or other non-prescription marijuana-related product as a basis for verifying a marijuana test negative. You also must not accept such an explanation related to consumption of coca teas as a basis for verifying a cocaine test result as negative. Consuming or using such a product is not a legitimate medical explanation.

(g) You must not accept an assertion that there is a legitimate medical explanation for the presence of PCP, 6-AM, MDMA, MDA, or MDEA in a specimen.

(h) You must not accept, as a legitimate medical explanation for an adulterated specimen, an assertion that soap, bleach, or glutaraldehyde entered a specimen through physiological means. There are no physiological means through which these substances can enter a specimen.

(i) You must not accept, as a legitimate medical explanation for a substituted specimen, an assertion that an employee can produce urine with no detectable creatinine. There are no physiological means through which a person can produce a urine specimen having this characteristic.

[65 FR 79526, Dec. 19, 2000, as amended at 66 FR 41952, Aug. 9, 2001; 75 FR 49863, August 16, 2010]

Last updated: Thursday, April 14, 2016