Will mariners face increased drug and alcohol testing?

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard is taking comments through March 20 on a number of questions related to drug and alcohol use as it considers revising the regulations governing chemical testing of mariners. It is seeking input specifically from mariners, marine employers, service agents, and substance abuse professionals on questions such as:

• Do you, as a marine employer or consortium or third-party administrator, require training for supervisors on the signs and effects of drug and alcohol use?

• What is the average or usual amount of time between when crewmembers are informed of their selection for random testing and their reporting for testing at the collection site?

• Do you collect on-site collection of specimens?

• Do you think a “report immediately” requirement would result in a more effective random drug testing program?

• What would be the cost if marine employers were also required to report failed drug tests for non-credential mariners?

For a full list of questions to which the Coast Guard is seeking answers, and there are many, please see this document.

The simplest way to deliver comments on these questions is through the government’s Federal eRulemaking Portal, using docket number USCG-2010-1064, but you can also fax answers to 202-493-2251 or mail to Docket Management Facility, US Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, 20590-0001.

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