The Department of Transportation (DOT) plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of transportation across the United States. One of the DOT’s responsibilities is to implement and enforce regulations related to drug and alcohol testing in the transportation industry. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 49 part 40 outlines the procedures and requirements for drug and alcohol testing, including provisions for records retention.

49 CFR 40.333 specifies the different types of records and the minimum duration for which these records must be retained. Records must be accessible for any necessary audits, inspections, or investigations that may arise. The following requirements come directly from the DOT and apply to all agencies:

 (1) You must keep the following records for five years:

(i) Records of alcohol test results indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater;

***Due to requirements in the California Vehicle Code for agencies in California to remove drivers from safety sensitive functions for 24 hours if they have test results with an alcohol concentration of 0.01 or higher, it is recommended that California agencies maintain records of alcohol test results indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.01 or greater.***

(ii) Records of verified positive drug test results;

(iii) Documentation of refusals to take required alcohol and/or drug tests (including substituted or adulterated drug test results);

(iv) SAP reports; and

(v) All follow-up tests and schedules for follow-up tests.

(2) You must keep records for three years of information obtained from previous employers under § 40.25 concerning drug and alcohol test results of employees.

(3) You must keep records of the inspection, maintenance, and calibration of EBTs, for two years.

(4) You must keep records of negative and cancelled drug test results and alcohol test results with a concentration of less than 0.02 for one year.

In addition, if an agency maintains its own records, the records must be stored in a location with controlled access. If an agency uses a third-party administrator, they must be able to produce the records within two business days when requested by the FMCSA or other authority. Regardless of how records are being stored, the agency must ensure they are easily accessible, legible and stored in an organized manner.  

Compliance with records retention requirements under Part 40 of the DOT regulations is crucial for entities regulated by the Department of Transportation. Properly maintained records not only help demonstrate adherence to drug and alcohol testing standards but also contribute to overall safety and transparency in the transportation industry. By understanding and fulfilling their records retention obligations, public agencies can build a culture of compliance, uphold the highest standards of safety, and contribute to the well-being of the transportation workforce and the traveling public.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to PRISM’s Risk Control Department.