Everything You Need To Know About DOT Drug Testing

Individuals who want to get a safety-sensitive job that falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Transportation need to pass a DOT Drug test prior to beginning work. Some of these workers are chosen on a random basis to have the test repeated again thereafter. Such jobs include but aren’t limited to truck drivers, pilots and ship captains.


DOT Drug Testing Methodology

According to the DOT rule 49 CFR Part 40, there’s a specific federal “chain of custody” that has to be followed when conducting the testing. The analysis has to be done by a SAMHSA Certified lab, and the results reviewed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO). Connecticut Urgent Care Center has the capability of handling the entire process.


Reasons for Getting A DOT Drug Test

There are six main reasons for employers to ask for a drug test under federal authority:

-       Pre-employment testing

-       Random test of employees

-       Post-Accident testing, in order to assess the situation of the individuals involved in the accident

-       Reasonable Suspicion

-       Return to Duty (in case someone fails a DOT drug test, they can’t be accepted to work again until they pass the “return to duty” drug test)

-       Follow up (even if the “return to duty” test comes out clean, the individual has to take such tests on an ongoing basis in order to maintain active status)


What Are The Substances Tested?

The list of substances included in the DOT test are marijuana (THC), amphetamines, cocaine, opiates and phencyclidine (PCP).  MDMA or Ecstasy will also be detected.  The rules require any non-negative screens to pass confirmatory testing. Although there are many other substances that are commonly abused, including prescription drugs, these are the only substances currently tested on a DOT drug screen. Prescription opiates such as hydrocodone and oxycodone are excluded.


Are Prescription Drugs Allowed For Safety-Sensitive Employees?

People working in safety-sensitive jobs aren’t allowed to use habit-forming medication such as amphetamines and narcotics. Nonetheless, if the employee is prescribed such drugs by a licensed medical practitioner, this may not be a problem, provided that the doctor can confirm it doesn’t interfere with the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle or the machine safely.


What Happens When Someone Fails Or Refuses The Test?

Failure to pass or the refusal to undergo the testing may result in removal from safety-sensitive duties. If the individual is already hired, he or she won’t be accepted back to work after a failure or a refusal, unless they get a consultation with a substance abuse professional and pass the Return to Duty testing.