D & A Program

It is critical that boat operators pay close attention to the time frames outlined in the MCBA Drug and Alcohol Program.

We can all agree that the Great Lakes are one of our precious resources. The MCBA is committed to assuring that its membership is engaged in complying with the USCG regulations that govern our operation on the waterways.  In practice the Legislature relies upon the USCG to regulate maritime professionals and the administration of existing regulations to assure the safe operation of vessels on the Great Lakes.


In 1988 the United States Coast Guard (USCG) promulgated regulations that require professional mariners to participate in a federally mandated Drug and Alcohol Program. The scope of the regulation includes charter boat operators. Since 1992, MCBA has provided a low cost random drug testing program for its membership. Over the years there have been many changes to the mandated program including recent alcohol testing requirements. To date, MCBA has been able to successfully comply with these mandated program changes. In the last few years the U.S.C.G has placed a new on ”immediate”- the time requirement from random notification to collection.

Members Role

Members role in this process is one of education and compliance to assure that the imposed time frames are met. There will be significant consequences to the membership if compliance with the regulation is not administered according to the plan. It is the Board’s intent to make the process as user friendly as possible and still maintain compliance with the provisions of the regulation. However, without the support and understanding of the membership/operators this cannot be achieved. It is critical that boat operators pay close attention to the time frames outlined in the MCBA Drug and Alcohol Program.

Random Collection

This aspect (Random Collection) of the regulation is proving to be difficult to address by all Drug and Alcohol Programs that are not ‘confined’ to a factory like setting. Immediate means that the collection will take place within 2-4 hours of the selectee being notified. The impact to you, as an operator, is that the MCBA must without question be assured that their drug and alcohol program is (1) in compliance with USCG regulations for drug and alcohol and (2) that you as operators clearly understand and comply with the requirements governing the safe operation of your boat.

Stay in Compliance

If the Operator/Employer does not have a compliant drug and alcohol program, individual licenses are at risk of being revoked. Without a license the boat cannot be operated.

The regulation is specific regarding the time frame in which operators/employers must collect and/or report. With that being the focus of scrutiny, it is essential that the membership understand the resolve with which the USCG expects to enforce this regulation.

Whether we classify ourselves as mariners, either by occupation or recreation, it is the responsibility of those who hold maritime documents to uphold the aspects of the regulation that govern safe operation of the vessel. For this reason, the Board wanted to raise your awareness and understanding of the serious role operators play in meeting the intent of this regulation. The MCBA wants to assure that all boats are being operated safety and without implication of drug and alcohol use.

Questions? Please use this form.

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