Category Archives: Drug and Alcohol Testing



So, the Boss walks into your office and says; “Snerdly, you are now the new DER. Congratulations and good luck”. He hands you a thick binder labeled “49 CFR Title 40”, and walks out.

“Wow”, you say; “The new DER”. Immediately you start thinking; ‘What the heck is a DER?’, and ‘Who was the old DER?’, and ‘Why isn’t he still the DER?’

For Starters;
As defined in 49 CFR Part 40, the Designated Employer Representative (DER) is an employee authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s) to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties, or cause employees to be removed from these covered duties, and to make required decisions in the testing and evaluation…and on and on it goes.

The Six Major Rolls of a DER are;

  1. You are the DOT drug and alcohol testing expert
  2. You are the Testing Program Manager
  3. You are the DOT Testing Process Administrator
  4. You are the Service Agent Director
  5. You are the DOT ‘Return to Duty’ Enforcer
  6. You are the Compliance Coordinator.

“GULP!”, you say. “This is a long way from the Mail Room”.

COMPLIANCE ASSOCIATES INC. to the rescue. Let’s partner and get started on your new DER adventure.


A “screw-up” is defined as a situation that has been completely mismanaged or mishandled. Lets face it, screw-ups have varying impacts but one thing is for certain, they all cost money. A case in point. An employer makes an appointment for his employee to get tested on Friday. On Friday morning the employee is notified of his appointment time and told to get tested. The employee says “Yes Sir, 10:30 AM sharp, I’ll be there”. Unfortunately the employee had heard that the fish were biting and was on his way to the river, and a day of drifting, and blew off the appointment. He has a change of heart and on Tuesday decides to show up for his test. “Sorry pal, you missed your appointment and are down as a refusal and a positive”, says the Lab tech.

The driver is immediately removed from his safety sensitive position and referred to a SAP (Substance Abuse Professional) for further evaluation. The average cost of this process is around $600. After this the employee is required to pass a Return to Duty test, and must take at least 6 follow up tests in the following 12 months. Oooooops! The employee could have missed his appointment for any number of reasons. The point the employee must be aware of the consequences of his/her actions, and the employer must educate to that end.

COMPLIANCE ALLIANCE INC. virtually eliminates all types of self -inflicted errors. We are committed to partnering with you to meet compliance through efficiency and education to make sure employees and employers are on the same page moving in the same direction……compliance.

APPOINTMENTS – Fastest and most cost-effective.

There is nothing worse than going for a drug test and having to wait, seemingly forever, because everyone showed up at the same time.
Our records show that making and meeting appointment dates and times is the most cost-effective way to handle your testing requirements. The obvious benefit is that both the tester and the one being tested spend the least amount of time in the process so that both can get on with other tasks.
If it is possible, make appointments at the earliest opportunity. Compliance Associates Inc. stands ready to assist you and guarantees the least amount of lost time. Call (530) 241-2099.

DOT Drug Testing Guidance during COVID-19 For Service Agents

“DOT is committed to maintaining public safety while providing maximum flexibility to allow Transportation industries to conduct their operations safely and efficiently during this period of national emergency.”

For Service Agents (DOT guidance for March 23, 2020)
            1. As a collector, BAT, Laboratory, MRO or SAP you should continue to provide services to DOT-Regulated employers, if it is possible to do so in accordance with State and Local mandates related to COVID-19. Should you have concerns about COVID-19 when testing or interacting with employees, please follow your company policy, directions from State and Local Officials and guidance from the CDC and Prevention (CDC)

COMPLIANCE ASSOCIATES INC.  of Redding, Ca. is open for business and ready to fulfill your drug testing needs.