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DOT Compliance Notice Regarding Marijunana

Recently, some states passed initiatives to permit use of marijuana for so-called "recreational" purposes. We have had several inquiries about whether these state initiatives will have an impact upon the Department of Transportation's longstanding regulation about the use of marijuana by safetysensitive transportation employees pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, subway operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, transit firearmed security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.

We want to make it perfectly clear that the state initiatives will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation's regulated drug testing program. The Department of Transportation's Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation 49 CFR Part 40 does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason. It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation's drug testing regulations to use marijuana. We want to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be.

Jim Swart Office of the Secretary of Transportation (DOT)


What if I Fail or Refuse a Test?

What CDL Drivers Need to Know

You fail a drug or alcohol test by testing positive to a drug test, or registering a 0.04 or greater alcohol content. Either of these results requires you to be immediately removed from performing safety-sensitive functions (i.e., driving CMVs) until successful completion of the return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional.

Your refusal to submit to a drug or alcohol test is generally equivalent to testing positive to a drug or alcohol test. You must immediately be removed from performing safety-sensitive functions (i.e., driving CMVs) until successful completion of the return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional. The DOT regulations outline refusals to test for drugs and alcohol. Some refusals are determined by medical review officers (49 CFR Part 40 Subpart G) and alcohol technicians (49 CFR Part 40 Subpart N). For others, the determination is the employer's responsibility. Refusals to submit to a drug or alcohol test are defined in §382.107. The employee handbook available on the ODAPC Web site provides examples of conduct that the regulations define as refusing a test (49 CFR Part 40 Subpart I and Subpart N) and what happens if you test positive, refuse a test, or violate FMCSA regulations. It is, therefore, critical to understand the specific circumstances that define a refusal, which can be found in §40.191, §40.261 and §382.107.

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International Road2016 check

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International Roadcheck, in its 29th year in 2016, is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute across North America during a 72-hour period. Each year, approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors in every jurisdiction across North America perform the truck and bus inspections.International Roadcheck 2016 will take place June 7-9, 2016.

International Roadcheck is an annual three-day event when CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, driver and cargo safety and security.

Since its inception in 1988, roadside inspections conducted during International Roadcheck have numbered more than 1.4 million. International Roadcheck also provides an opportunity to educate industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial motor vehicle operations and the North American roadside inspection program.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) sponsors International Roadcheck with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

Trump Seeks to Improve E-Verify System

Politicians who push for increasing legal immigration levels will often make reference to the "Broken Immigration System". By fixing the "broken system" what they really want is to dismantle enforcement and make it easier for employers to access cheap, foreign labor. But they often ignore the real broken pieces within our immigration system that drive more illegal immigration and harm national security and public safety.

The following list of Ten Steps to Re-establish the Integrity of the Immigration System would make great strides toward ending illegal immigration, assisting struggling American workers, and making our communities safer. Many of these items are already federal law but simply ignored by the current and past Administrations. Legislation has been introduced to repair much of the rest.

  1. Make E-Verify mandatory for all U.S. employers to eliminate the jobs magnet.
  2. Complete the Congressionally-mandated biometric entry/exit system to track non-immigrant visitors to the U.S.
  3. End the practice of birthright citizenship for illegal aliens and foreign visitors.
  4. Require state and local law enforcement to report affirmatively all non-citizens in custody to ICE, make ICE detainers mandatory, and require ICE to pick up and remove deportable aliens.
  5. Expand expedited removal to include all illegal aliens with criminal convictions.
  6. End catch-and-release of illegal aliens by requiring that they are detained until removal.
  7. Deny immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to nations that refuse to repatriate their citizens.
  8. Reform the judicial process in immigration courts, including restricting relief from removal, to expedite the process and reduce the backlog of cases.
  9. Restrict asylum to the internationally recognized definition of those who are unable to be returned to the home country due to a well-founded fear of (state) persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
  10. Allow Border Patrol access to all federal lands.


'Surprise' Designer Drugs Detected in NYC Hair Samples

Young adult party-goers in New York City are using dangerous new designer drugs, often without knowing it, researchers warn These drugs include "bath salts" such as flakka and butylone. The synthetic chemicals are common additives in drugs such as ecstasy or "Molly," said study co-author Joseph Palamar.

While the new stimulants cause the same mental effects as other recreational drugs, their toxicity and side effects remain largely unknown, said Palamar, who is with New York University's Center for Drug Use and HIV Research.

The presence of flakka -- also called gravel -- is especially alarming, Palamar said in a university news release. The drug has been linked with many reports of bizarre behavior and a series of deaths that rocked southern Florida in 2015.

For the new study, researchers collected hair samples from 80 young adults outside nightclubs and dance venues in New York City between July and September 2015. The investigators tested the samples for 82 drugs and new psychoactive substances.

Twenty-six of the samples tested positive for at least one new psychoactive substance. Most common was the bath salt butylone, which was present in 25 samples. The bath salts methylone and alpha-PVP (flakka) were also detected.

Two other new stimulants -- 4-FA and 5/6-APB -- also turned up in the hair strands, according to the study authors.

"Hair analysis represents a reliable and well-established means of clinical and forensic investigation to evaluate drug exposure," said study co-author Dr. Alberto Salomone of Italy. He's a researcher at the Regional Center of Toxicology and Antidoping in Orbassano, Turin.

Most new designer drugs are undetectable in urine, blood or saliva within hours or days of use. But many remain identifiable in hair for months, Salomone said.

In a related study, the researchers found that four out of 10 partyers who used ecstasy (MDMA) also tested positive for bath salts even though they reported not using them.

"We found that many people in the nightclub and festival scene have been using new drugs, and our previous research has found that many of these people have been using unknowingly," Palamar said in a university news release.

The study was published recently in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.


President Trump established a Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The Commission will be chaired by Governor Chris Christie and will be responsible for studying the scope and effectiveness of the Federal response to drug addiction and the opioid crisis. Read More Below: 

"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It shall be the policy of the executive branch to combat the scourge of drug abuse, addiction, and overdose (drug addiction), including opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose (opioid crisis). This public health crisis was responsible for more than 50,000 deaths in 2015 alone, most of which involved an opioid, and has caused families and communities across America to endure significant pain, suffering, and financial harm.

Sec. 2. Establishment of Commission. There is established the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis (Commission).

Sec. 3. Membership of Commission. (a) The Commission shall be composed of members designated or appointed by the President.

(b) The members of the Commission shall be selected so that membership is fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed by the Commission.

(c) The President shall designate the Chair of the Commission (Chair) from among the Commission's members.

Sec. 4. Mission of Commission. The mission of the Commission shall be to study the scope and effectiveness of the Federal response to drug addiction and the opioid crisis described in section 1 of this order and to make recommendations to the President for improving that response. The Commission shall:

(a) identify and describe existing Federal funding used to combat drug addiction and the opioid crisis;

(b) assess the availability and accessibility of drug addiction treatment services and overdose reversal throughout the country and identify areas that are underserved;

(c) identify and report on best practices for addiction prevention, including healthcare provider education and evaluation of prescription practices, and the use and effectiveness of State prescription drug monitoring programs;

(d) review the literature evaluating the effectiveness of educational messages for youth and adults with respect to prescription and illicit opioids;

(e) identify and evaluate existing Federal programs to prevent and treat drug addiction for their scope and effectiveness, and make recommendations for improving these programs; and

(f) make recommendations to the President for improving the Federal response to drug addiction and the opioid crisis.

Sec. 5. Administration of Commission. (a) The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) shall, to the extent permitted by law, provide administrative support for the Commission.

(b) Members of the Commission shall serve without any additional compensation for their work on the Commission. Members of the Commission appointed from among private citizens of the United States, while engaged in the work of the Commission, may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, to the extent permitted by law for persons serving intermittently in Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707), consistent with the availability of funds.

(c) Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.) (Act), may apply to the Commission, any functions of the President under that Act, except for those in section 6 and section 14 of that Act, shall be performed by the Director of the ONDCP, in accordance with the guidelines that have been issued by the Administrator of General Services.

Sec. 6. Funding of Commission. The ONDCP shall, to the extent permitted by law and consistent with the need for funding determined by the President, make funds appropriated to the ONDCP available to pay the costs of the activities of the Commission.

Sec. 7. Reports of Commission. Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Commission shall submit to the President a report on its interim recommendations regarding how the Federal Government can address drug addiction and the opioid crisis described in section 1 of this order, and shall submit a report containing its final findings and recommendations by October 1, 2017, unless the Chair provides written notice to the President that an extension is necessary.

Sec. 8. Termination of Commission. The Commission shall terminate 30 days after submitting its final report unless extended by the President prior to that date.

Sec. 9. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person."



    March 29, 2017.


In January, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register in which it proposes to amend its drug testing program regulation to add four synthetic opioids (hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone and oxycodone) to its drug testing panel. DOT also proposes to add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte and remove methylenedioxymethamphetamine, (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte.

DOT explained that it will maintain the current five-panel test, but will change the name of the opiates category to "opioids" and will include the four new synthetic opioid drugs.

DOT also proposes to:

add a new provision indicating that only urine specimens are authorized to be used for drug testing under 49 CFR Part 40;

revise an existing provision to describe the procedure for discarding an original urine specimen under certain circumstances;

adding three new "fatal flaws" to the existing list of four "fatal flaws" currently found in Part 40;

remove Part 40 provisions requiring blind specimen testing;

add emphasis to an existing Part 40 provision prohibiting DNA testing of urine specimens;

add clarification of the term "prescription" during MRO review;

remove, modify and add some definitions to clarify the program and make it consistent with the DHHS Mandatory Guidelines, among other things.

The proposed revision of the drug testing panel is intended to harmonize with the revised Mandatory Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for federal drug testing programs for urine testing, issued on January 23, 2017. DHHS has set an effective date of October 1, 2017 for compliance with its final revision.


For decades, use of the inhaled, legal high known as "poppers" has been common in dance clubs. But new research suggests the drug might pose a danger to club-goers' vision.

Poppers are colorless liquids with strong odors that are inhaled for effects such as euphoria and sexual arousal.

As the British authors of the new report explained, the prior principal chemical in poppers, isobutyl nitrite, was replaced with isopropyl nitrite after the former was reclassified as a cancer-causing agent in 2006. 

However, eye problems have now emerged as a side effect since the chemical composition of poppers was changed, the research team said.

"The mounting body of evidence [suggests] that poppers can have serious effects on central vision," said a team led by Dr. Rebecca Rewbury, an ophthalmologist at Cheltenham General Hospital in the United Kingdom.

Rewbury's team also believes that many "users and health care professionals may be unaware of the risk."

In the study, the researchers tracked the use of poppers in 12 men, aged 31 to 59, treated at an eye specialist hospital in England between 2013 and 2016.

The study authors said they believe that poppers with isopropyl nitrite can damage the fovea -- the small depression in the retina at the back of the eye.

"We use the fovea to read or to use a computer or a smartphone," explained one ophthalmologist, Dr. Richard Spaide, who reviewed the findings.

"There can be incredible damage to these cells" from using poppers, said Spaide, who specializes in retinal diseases at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "The lesion produced looks very similar to that caused by directly gazing at the sun."

In the British study, the most common symptoms were impaired central vision, such as blurriness, or blind spots, with symptoms starting within hours or days of inhaling poppers, the study found.

Six of the eight varieties of popper products used by the men contained isopropyl nitrite, while the other two varieties contained other forms of nitrites and related compounds. The six products with isopropyl nitrite were associated with visual problems while the two without were not, Rewbury's group noted.

There was some good news: Most of the patients mostly or fully recovered several months after they stopped using poppers, the findings showed.

How do the drugs harm the retina? According to Spaide, "poppers cause rapid widespread dilation of blood vessels -- this is thought to cause the 'rush' that users like."

However, the drugs also affect certain cellular machinery, "and this may be part of the damage they produce," he added. "It is possible photoreceptors -- the light-sensitive cells of the retina -- are blitzed by oxidative damage from the drug, leading to impairment of function and loss of cells."

And Rewbury's team added that "while retinal damage can often resolve on cessation of use, symptoms can be prolonged and the visual effects of chronic use of the newer brands of poppers are unknown. For these reasons, it seems appropriate that the level of harm associated with poppers should be reassessed."

The study was published online April 10 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.


Legal medicines, over-the-counter & prescription are the most commonly abused drugs in the U.S. Realize that sedatives like Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, and Sleep Medicines. Painkillers like Codeine and Morphine, OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. Stimulants like Amphetamines and Methylphenidate. Even over-the-counter cold and cough medicines and decongestants like Pseudoephedrine can also cause a euphoric high, dependence, addiction and problems with workplace safety. Learn more: