Date Prepared: November 2022

Drug & Alcohol Management Policy and Procedure

The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit for all commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) drivers (including rideshare, hire car and taxi) is 0.00 while the vehicle is in service.  This requirement is set out in section 52(1C) of the Road Safety Act 1986.  It states that a person using a vehicle for the purpose of providing CPV services within the meaning of the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017 (the Act), is subject to a zero BAC.

  1. Background

1.1 The use of drugs and alcohol may impact on a driver’s capacity to drive safely and efficiently, thereby posing a risk to the safety of the driver, customers and the public.

  1. Intent

2.1 This policy is aimed at preventing, or minimising, any risk of injury or harm to the safety of drivers, passengers or others, from the use of alcohol or drugs.  It describes the standards of behaviour expected in relation to the use of drugs and alcohol, the responsibilities of d@rt drivers and the consequences of breaching the policy.

  1. Scope

3.1This policy applies to all registered d@rt drivers (whether TSP drivers or individual drivers) collectively referred to as ‘drivers’).

 

  1. Definitions

4.1 The following are terms used in this policy:

drugs’ — include illegal drugs, prescription or pharmacy drugs, or synthetic drugs as defined below.

illegal drugs’ — include:

  • any drug prohibited by Australian State, Territory or Federal law or any other laws (including foreign and international laws);
  • prescription or pharmacy drugs (as defined below) which are used without the necessary prescription, or for non-medical purposes;
  • any synthetic drug (whether prohibited by law or not), being a psychoactive herbal and/or chemical product which, when consumed, mimics the effects of a prohibited drug, for example synthetic cannabis.

prescription drugs’ — mean lawful drugs which are prescribed by a medical practitioner for a diagnosed medical purpose and issued by a pharmacist.

pharmacy drugs’ — mean drugs which are lawfully available at Australian pharmacies (without a prescription) and are required for a legitimate medical purpose.

under the influence’ — means that a person’s faculties are impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol to the extent that the person is unfit to be entrusted with a duty they perform, or may be called on to perform, with efficiency and safety to themselves and others.

 

  1. Responsibilities

5.1 Drivers’ responsibilities

  • All drivers must:
    • comply with this policy;
    • observe all directions from d@rt in regards to this policy;
    • recognise that performance of duties could be affected by alcohol or drugs; and
    • immediately notify d@rt at admin@dart.org.au if they are aware of any breach of this policy by another driver.  Subject to any disclosures required by law, any notifications received by d@rt will be treated confidentially
  • Drivers must not:
    • possess, distribute, sell, purchase, use or consume illegal drugs while utilising d@rt Services.  Such conduct may also constitute a criminal offence, in which case d@rt may notify the police, or other appropriate government authority;
    • use d@rt Services while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, particularly where the driver’s judgement and performance may be impaired by the drugs or alcohol;
    • drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
    • consume alcohol and/or drugs when using d@rt Services (note qualification for prescription and pharmacy drugs below).

5.2 Responsibilities of d@rt :

  • d@rt is responsible for ensuring that this policy is readily available to drivers, including through TSPs in relation to TSP drivers, and for ensuring that:
    • any reported concerns or issues about the policy are addressed proactively and expediently to ensure the safety of all drivers and passengers;
    • and
    • any suspected breaches of this policy are acted on promptly and in accordance with this policy.

 

  1. Using d@rt Services

6.1 Alcohol and illegal drugs

  • To ensure a safe environment, no driver is to use d@rt Services if they are under the influence of alcohol, or have used or consumed illegal drugs.
  • Drivers must comply with  the 0.0% alcohol concentration limit when using d@rt Services.
  • d@rt will not accept liability for any damage to a vehicle being driven by a driver, an injury to a passenger or another person, or damage to other property caused by a driver while intoxicated from alcohol or illegal drugs.

6.2 Prescription and pharmacy drugs

  • Where a driver is taking prescription or pharmacy drugs that contain a warning that the person should not drive a vehicle or operate machinery, then that driver must not use d@rt Services in any capacity unless contrary specific medical advice is obtained and confirmed in writing, from the driver’s medical practitioner.
  • If a driver is taking prescription or pharmacy drugs and feels that their ability to safely drive a vehicle may be impacted, the driver must not use d@rt Services until such time as their medical practitioner confirms in writing that the driver is fit to recommence safely driving a vehicle.
  • It is the responsibility of the driver to temporarily and immediately withdraw from using d@rt Services if their ability to safely operate a vehicle may be impacted through the use of any prescription or pharmacy drugs

6.3 Smoking

  • Smoking is not permitted in a vehicle while using d@rt Services.

6.4 Driver Drugs, Alcohol and Fatigue Self-Assessment Checklist

In addition to the requirements referred to above, d@rt requires all drivers to review this checklist [see here] or a checklist agreed with d@rt prior to logging on to use d@rt Services in order to assess the driver’s fitness to provide transport services to passengers.

  1. What will d@rt do if it suspects a driver is affected by drugs or alcohol?

7.1 d@rt may suspect, on reasonable grounds, that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol in breach of this policy.  Reasonable grounds may include (but are not limited to) where a d@rt representative becomes aware that the driver:

  • Has received a passenger complaint citing concerns relating to drug/alcohol
  • is unable to coordinate their actions;
  • has red or bloodshot eyes, or dilated pupils;
  • smells of alcohol;
  • exceeds alcohol concentration limits in excess of 0.0%
  • is not behaving in a professional and competent manner and in accordance with d@rt standards; or
  • otherwise appears to be impaired or affected by drugs or alcohol.

7.2 In such circumstances, d@rt may take the following actions (but is not limited to these actions):

  • Immediately deactivate the driver from accessing d@rt Services or using the Driver App; or
  • Request the driver to attend a medical examination to determine whether the driver is fit to perform their duties effectively and safely.  The medical examination may include a drug and/or alcohol test, such as a breath test, blood test, urine test or oral swab.  In relation to prescription or pharmacy drugs, d@rt may require evidence as part of the medical examination about the effects and proper use of the drug.
  • If the driver refuses to attend a medical examination, they will be immediately deactivated from accessing d@rt Services or using the Driver App.

 

  1. What will d@rt do if it suspects a driver has drugs or alcohol in their possession while using d@rt Services?

 

8.1 If d@rt representatives reasonably suspect that a driver has drugs or alcohol in their possession whilst working, d@rt may take the following action, which includes but is not limited to:

  • investigating the matter to attempt to determine whether the driver does have such drugs or alcohol in their possession;
  • requesting the driver undertake testing;
  • reporting the matter to the authorities.

 

8.2 Drivers and/or TSPs are expected to permit such inspection and co-operate with d@rt ’s investigation.  Failure to co-operate, or providing false information in an investigation, may result in action being taken against the driver, as set out below under ‘breach of this policy’.

  1. When will d@rt conduct drug and alcohol testing?

Definitions:

9.1 The following definitions will apply to this part:

Alcohol screen test’ — means any analytical procedure or test which is carried out on a driver to determine the presence and/or the concentration alcohol (including but not limited to a breath test, urine sample, oral swab and blood test).  These procedures are not limited to those which presently exist. As new technology is developed these may also be used for alcohol testing purposes.

Authorised Officer’ — means a suitably trained, qualified and authorised person from an independent testing agency or a suitably trained, qualified and authorised person appointed by d@rt for the purposes of undertaking or arranging an alcohol screen test and/or drug screen test.

Confirmatory test’ — means any analytical procedure or test which is undertaken subsequent to a first alcohol screen test or drug screen test, which is used to verify the presence of drugs or alcohol. This may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • a test applied to a second sample of a driver’s urine;
  • a test applied to any oral swab taken from a driver;
  • a second breath test;
  • analysis of a driver’s blood.

Drug screen test’ — means any analytical procedure or test which is carried out on a driver to determine the presence and/or the concentration of any drug (including but not limited to a breath test, urine sample, oral swab and blood test). These procedures are not limited to those which presently exist. As new technology is developed this may also be used for drug testing purposes

Sample’ — in relation to urine, includes, if the sample is divided into portions, a portion of the sample.

9.2 Drug and alcohol testing

d@rt may require drivers to undergo testing for the presence of drugs or alcohol in the following circumstances, with or without, prior notice:

  • Causal based
    • if d@rt suspects, on reasonable grounds, that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol in breach of this policy;
    • upon finding evidence that a driver has used, possessed, sold, purchased, solicited or transferred drugs whilst representing d@rt or while on d@rt property;
    • upon receipt of a report of drug or alcohol use, provided by a reliable and credible source and confirmed by investigation, in breach of this policy;
    • upon obtaining evidence that a driver has interfered with, tampered with, falsified or destroyed an alcohol screen test or drug screen test;
    • where a driver notifies d@rt that he/she has a drug or alcohol problem;
    • where a driver is taking prescription or pharmacy drugs which may affect their ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of their position in an efficient, competent and safe manner, without risk to the health, welfare or safety of the driver, or customers.
  • Targeted testing
    • d@rt reserves the right to implement targeting testing of drivers at any time.
  • Post incident or near-miss
    • Where the investigation of an incident or near-miss determines that the driver’s actions may have been impaired due to the use of drugs or alcohol, or the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

 

  1. Breach of this policy

10.1 Drivers must comply with this policy at all times.

 

10.2 If a driver is found to have breached this policy, they may be subjected to action by d@rt.  The type and severity of the action will depend upon the circumstances of the case and the seriousness of the breach.

 

10.3 Examples of action that may be taken by d@rt include (but are not limited to):

  • A formal warning;
  • Deactivating of access to the d@rt Services and Driver App;

 

10.4 In circumstances where a driver’s behaviour or conduct may involve a breach of any Australian law, d@rt may notify the police or other relevant government authority.

 

 

  1. d@rt monitoring

In addition to ordering testing under this policy, d@rt will also monitor compliance with drug & alcohol management requirements by issuing a 12 monthly questionnaire seeking confirmation that the TSP or individual driver are continuing to operate in accordance with this policy. As part of this process, d@rt may request a random sample of Driver Drugs, Alcohol and Fatigue Self-Assessment records.

A TSP or individual driver will comply with any requests by d@rt for information or documents to demonstrate that they are complying with this policy.

June 2024
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