Designated Employer Representatives (DERs) of companies whose employees fall under the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) must maintain compliance of their drug and alcohol testing program. Understanding the drug and alcohol testing process and what actions are required under DOT – FTA regulations are essential to successful management of a DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing program. Being knowledgeable about any service agents involved in the testing process, including collectors, MROs, laboratory personnel, SAPs, and C/TPAs is also important.


DERs must

  • Insure the proper management of the random drug & alcohol testing
  • Receive drug & alcohol test results
  • Remove employees from safety-sensitive jobs in the event of a positive drug or alcohol test result
  • Refer employees to a SAP – Substance Abuse Professional when required
  • Manage follow up testing in a return to duty situations
  • Facilitate doctor referrals for “shy bladder” and “shy lung” situations

DERs must understand requirements of the testing process including:

  • Compliance with 49 CFR Part 40 and FTA regulations
  • Knowledge of urine collection procedures
  • Understanding of breath alcohol testing procedures
  • Receiving of drug and alcohol test results
  • Awareness of correctable flaws, fatal flaws, and problem collection situations
  • Determining if a situation is a refusal to test


As a DER for an employer with FTA regulated employees, you are responsible for administering the Drug and Alcohol Testing Program in compliance with bot DOT and FTA regulations as well as interacting with drug and alcohol testing service agents. The DER must take actions necessary according to the results of the required drug or alcohol tests and is authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s)including removal of employees from safety-sensitive duties.