Q I hold a 6-pack license and take out paid fishing parties three times a year. Do I need to be in a random program?

A Yes you do and if you take your son along as a mate, he needs to be under a random maritime drug program also. Anyone else who would assist in an emergency, must also be covered.

Q The people in my boat company joined an expensive maritime random drug testing program. Is it easy to convert to a less expensive program?

A It sure is. Just send your new program proof of your previous program and they can pick up coverage within 4 months of your old program expiring.

Q I’m a one man, one boat operation. Do I need a pre-employment maritime drug test?

A If you took a drug screen when you applied for your license, or for its renewal, you can use those results as your pre-employment test for enrollment into the random testing program. The results used can’t be older than 6 months though and the random testing program is still mandatory for sole proprietors.

Q I use different crew members on a part time basis in my small charter operation. Do they have to be drug tested or under a random program?

A Yes and yes. The problem is not unique and many ask the same question. The Coast Guard’s easy answer would be to have an extra group of mariners available to you that have already undergone pre-employment testing and enrollment into a random program. This is a tough proposition to financially justify so the question becomes can you get away with it if your crew members don’t meet these requirements?

The answer is that the penalty, which is up to $5000.00 per day per violation, and possible action against your license or vessel, is not worth the gamble.

Q Why is APCA’s program so reasonably priced?

A At $75, APCA shows a small profit at the end of the year. As a service organization without the need to show a huge profit we are able to pass the savings of quantity testing on to the mariner.

Q Does the requirement for an EAP mean that I must continue to employ and pay for rehabilitation of a crew member who abuses drugs?

A No and no. The EAP Program requires that you supply 60 minutes worth of information to the crew about drug abuse and how to correct that behavior. Most posted company policies clearly state that if you abuse drugs, you will be terminated. There is no requirement by the Coast Guard, other than ensuring employees receive the 60 minutes of training, that you spend time or money on rehabilitation.