Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/617100
47 Winter 2015–2016 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings Next, the Coast Guard must put into evidence further proof the chemical test was conducted in accordance with 49 CFR Part 40. This is accomplished through the MRO's testimony that the procedures of 49 CFR Part 40, Subpart G — Medical Review Offcers and the Verifcation Pro- cess — were followed. The medical review offcer is the independent and impartial "gatekeeper" and advocate for the accuracy and integrity of the drug testing pro- cess. 8 The medical review offcer's testimony that the pro- cess outlined by 49 CFR Part 40, Subpart G, was followed should also serve as proof that the entire process was con- ducted in accordance with 49 CFR Part 40. The Test Was Conducted in Accordance With 46 CFR Part 16 (With the Proviso That 46 CFR Part 16 Incorpo- rates by Reference the Regulations in 49 CFR Part 40). For this element, the Coast Guard requires evidence and testimony from the marine employer to prove the test was conducted in accordance with 46 CFR Part 16. To accom- plish this, the Coast Guard must present evidence that the test was required by the regulation as either a pre- employment, random, serious marine incident, or reason- able cause drug test. Each of these tests requires different evidence from the marine employer. • For a pre-employment test, the Coast Guard requires a copy of the mariner's application for employment and the marine employer's testimony to introduce the application into evidence and testify that the test was conducted pursuant to 46 CFR §16.210. • For a random test, the Coast Guard needs evidence that the mariner was selected by a scientifcally valid method (such as a random number table or a computer- based random number generator). The Coast Guard will also need testimony from the marine employer to enter the random selection into evidence as well as testimony that the test was, indeed, taken because of the random test regulation. • For a serious marine incident test, 9 the Coast Guard needs testimony from the marine employer and to have the report of marine casualty and the report of required chemical drug and alcohol testing following a serious marine incident admitted as evidence, as well as testi- mony that the test was conducted because of the SMI. 10 In addition, the Coast Guard may also require other evidence and/or additional testimony from the marine employer that the casualty was a serious marine inci- dent (or the employer believed it was likely to become a serious marine incident) and to prove the mariner was directly involved in the casualty. • For a reasonable cause test, the Coast Guard will need testimony and, if available, documentation as to why the marine employer (or their representative) believed the mariner had used a dangerous drug, as well as tes- timony that the test was conducted pursuant to the SMI Pros and Cons of Non-USCG Mandated Drug Testing The Suspension and Revocation National Center of Exper- tise seeks to move forward with all reported positive marine employer drug tests. However, the first inquiry is how the marine employer conducted the test, whether it was conducted in an efort to circumvent 46 CFR Part 16, or if it was conducted in strict compliance with the marine employ- er's drug testing policies. Pros Marine employer tests t ypically capture information that the govern- ment- re quire d test cannot . For example, they could detect prescrip- tion drugs and other drugs not specif- cally tested for in a Part 16/ Part 40 Coast Guard test. If the marine employer takes the care, concern, and expense to ensure its workforce is drug-free, the Coast Guard can better direct its investi- gating ofcer and attorney resources to ensure the mariner is rehabilitated or removed from the licensed community. Cons There is no reporting requirement for marine employer- mandated tests, so if the marine employer does not report the positive test, the mariner is free to seek employment elsewhere without any form of cure or administrative action. Hence, while the mariner may be released from one employ- er's roster, he enters another — and therefore there is no beneft to the maritime community as a whole. Please report your positive drug test results to your nearest Coast Guard sector or MSU. Coast Guard personnel will eval- uate for potential remedial action. Carolina K. Smith, MD / iStock / Thinkstock The majority of drug use cases the Coast Guard loses are due to errors in the collection process.