The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 4, 2002


Selectmen to formalize drug, alcohol testing

Carlisle's Board of Selectmen discussed a proposed drug and alcohol policy for those town employees who, as part of their job, operate motor vehicles requiring a commercial driver's license. At the September 24 meeting of the board, town administrator Madonna McKenzie said that insurance companies require towns to have such policies, and the proposed document would match what is currently used by other towns. McKenzie will double-check that the document does not conflict with current state department of transportation or federal regulations which also mandate drug and alcohol testing.

Current testing

Department of public works superintendent Gary Davis later explained that the town has been conducting drug and alcohol testing for employees with commercial driver's licenses for several years because of these existing regulations. The town's insurance company conducts the testing for Carlisle as well as many other towns. Davis felt the town's adopting a local policy would not result in any major changes.

The proposed policy defines certain job functions as "safety-sensitive," and these include driving, loading or unloading a vehicle, or inspecting or servicing a vehicle.

According to the document, drug testing could be done in five situations:

1. Before hiring someone to perform "safety-sensitive" tasks;

2. After an accident where a driver received a moving traffic violation, or there was loss of life;

3. Unannounced random testing is required. The random testing program consists of: "25% of all drivers shall be randomly tested for alcohol during the first year of the testing program. The number to be randomly tested in following years depends on the percentage of positive tests for the entire industry. Fifty percent of drivers shall be randomly tested for controlled substances during each year of the testing program;"

4. When a supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that an employee may be using alcohol or drugs;

5. When a driver returns to a "safety-sensitive" job after violations.

The selectmen plan to vote on the policy at their October 8 meeting.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito