Friday, May 9, 2008
AG Says Rule of Necessity Applies to Post-Accident Drug Testing
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A city council member who is also a medical doctor may be paid a fee for performing drug testing of a city employee who has been involved in a traffic accident, Attorney General Jerry Brown concluded in an opinion made public yesterday.
The attorney general reasoned that if the nearest alternative tester is too far away to ensure a timely post-accident drug test, a council member may perform the test and be paid on the same fee schedule and terms as any other tester under the city’s contract with the firm hired to perform drug testing services for municipal employees.
In the immediate vicinity of the Town of Truckee, Brown wrote, the only individuals with federal certification to perform the drug testing on municipal employees holding commercial drivers licenses are certain staff members at the local hospital, and one doctor who is also a member of the town’s governing council.
The federal regulations governing the drug testing of commercially licensed drivers require that tests be performed “as soon as possible” after any accident. Due to the exigency created by an accident scenario, Brown wrote, the city could employ the doctor to provide testing services if no other tester is available in order to comply with the federal regulations and ensure the accuracy of the test results.
The opinion, prepared by Deputy Attorney General Susan Duncan Lee, is No. 07-313.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company