Thom Cafferty Law Office

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If You Tested Positive For Drugs

Do you know the drug laws of your state? Do you know the drug laws of the states that your work may take you to? Many commercial mariners do not and are unknowingly putting their licenses in jeopardy.

The Truth About Marijuana

While drug laws vary from state to state, the laws governing the Coast Guard parallel the U.S. federal drug laws. By 2017 Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, D.C. and Washington all legalized nonmedical marijuana use.

The problem is not necessarily that commercial mariners are using drugs illegally or even during work hours. Many times mariners on break or vacation visit states where marijuana is legal. However, even though you may have done nothing illegal(by a state law) by smoking or ingesting marijuana you will likely test positive for a drug considered illeagal by the federal transportation workplace laws. This testing can cost you your license and job, and makes you vulnerable to other legal actions.

Unfair Or Inaccurate Testing

Most larger companies are meticulous with their testing. However, this is not true of all companies. There are companies who target employees by administering tests that are not random, such as testing employees only when they return from a vacation. There are also tests which failed to follow federal transportation workplace procedures, including testing for wrong substances or testing at an unapproved lab.

Strategy, Evidence And A Strong Defense

By using a drug that is considered illeagal by federal law, you risk a permanent revocation of your credentials. However, the law and the test can be slanted against you. Whether you are a tugboat captain, mate, master or crewman you do have rights and deserve competent and skilled representation. As your attorney I will:

  • Defend you against the elements of the drug test (was it truly random?)
  • Assess the validity of the test (were there extenuating circumstances?)
  • Negotiate with the investigating officer for a settlement, if you approve and if appropriate
  • Create or enter into a settlement agreement with the Coast Guard on your behalf
  • Work with the administrative law judge on the terms of your reinstatement

Successful, Experienced Local Representation

I provide strong legal defense for mariners throughout the Great Lakes, the upper Mississippi River and the Ohio River Valley areas. Email me at Thom Cafferty Law Office to learn how I can help you successfully defend against drug charges. Call 419-244-0169 and speak with an experienced lawyer about your case. I offer a free twenty-minute telephone consultation. There is never an obligation for you to use my services.