It is a requirement of the Coast Guard, as a licensed captain, that you will need to display that you are fully coherent when operating a vessel. Due to the nature of the work, in taking paying passengers on board, their lives are in your hands.  

To obtain a USCG captain's license, you must pass a D.O.T 5-panel Drug Test. You will be filling out the CG-719P. 

You must have taken and passed an approved Department of Transportation or DOT drug test within six months of applying for your captain's license or provide proof of your active participation in a DOT-approved random drug testing program. 

Only a D.O.T 5-Panel (SAMHSA 5 panel, formerly NIDA 5) urine test for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine, and amphetamines will be accepted for a captain's license. 

Marijuana is not legal at the federal level; you will need to pass an initial drug test and be enrolled in a program if operating professionally. 

Only a screening that tests for the five dangerous drugs is accepted. All tests must be conducted according to Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug Testing Programs in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations CFR Part 40. All qualifying random and periodic drug testing programs must also meet these requirements. 

Here is our help desk article on the drug test 

You cannot be awarded a USCG captain's license if you fail or do not complete the required drug testing. Once you get your license, a positive drug test will result in removal from your crew duties that directly impact a vessel's safe operation. 

Mariners who fail drug tests may opt to go to a Suspension and Revocation (S&R) hearing in front of a federal Administrative Law Judge (ALI). The hearing is administrative and concerns only the Mariner's right to continued use of a Coast Guard issued license or MMC. 

For form CG-719P, you will be taking a 5-Panel Urine test at a D.O.T-approved self-pay facility. 

Examples of D.O.T-approved self-pay facilities would be where CDL truck drivers or FAA Pilots get drug testing done. 

Additionally, if you are operating professionally, you will need to be enrolled in a USCG-approved random drug testing consortium (program).  

Operating a vessel under the influence is extremely dangerous and unsafe. It is important to remember that being a captain comes with a great deal of responsibility and dependability. The Coast Guard and every state have stringent penalties for violating BUI laws. Penalties can include large fines, suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges, and jail terms. The Coast Guard and the states cooperate fully in enforcement to remove impaired boat operators from the waters.

For additional information, check out our courses here or call today at (609) 303-0664, M-F, 9 AM -5 PM EST.  

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