The DOT drug tests are often quite basic, but the prospect of failing a drug test may be rather nail-biting and stressful. Ideally, you’ll pass each DOT drug test. However, if you don’t, here’s all you need to know to go and get back on the right track.
What is the DOT drug test?
The administration, primarily the Department of Transportation, regulates this drug test (DOT).
The United States Congress approved the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act in 1991 because they realized how important it was for the transportation sector to be free of drugs and alcohol.
To ensure the safety of both workers and the population in general, the act mandated that DOT authorities provide drug and alcohol tests to those responsible for maintaining safety.
Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), referred to as “Part 40,” contains the DOT’s drug testing policies and guidelines.
The Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance, a division of the DOT, is responsible for disseminating these regulations (ODAPC).
Guidelines written specifically for each sector by DOT departments and the U.S. Coast Guard specify who will be susceptible to testing, when it occurs, and under what circumstances. Employers in the industry carry out the laws relevant to their operations.
Who must submit to DOT drug testing?
Anyone listed as a “safety-sensitive” employee under DOT standards is liable for DOT drug and alcohol testing. A worker, who is concerned about their personal safety, as well as the safety of others, is said to be safety-sensitive.
A few of the DOT divisions with roles that need attention to safety include:
- Airline crew members, air hostesses, aircraft emergency responders, ground safety supervisors, etc., are all employed by the Federal Aviation Administration.
- Owners of Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) who handle Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs), automobiles that accommodate 16 or more people, along with the driver, or automobiles that carry potentially dangerous goods are required to show a DOT placard.
- US Coast Guard: People working on a commercial ship.
- Management, upkeep, and rescue workers are covered by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency.
- Engine and train operators, signal service managers, or train traffic controllers are all covered under the Federal Railroad Administration’s Hours of Service Act.
- The Federal Transit Administration employs armed guards, technicians, supervisors, and drivers of vehicles.
What are the results of DOT drug tests?
The identical 5-panel test is used for all DOT drug testing. It evaluates for
- THC and cannabis compounds
- Cocaine compounds
- Methamphetamines include MDMA, Opioids*, codeine, heroin (6-AM), morphine, and hydrocodone.
- hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
The DOT requires urine samples for all drug testing, even though there are other choices.
When must employees who work in hazardous conditions submit to DOT drug testing?
The following circumstances necessitate DOT drug tests:
- Before beginning your work obligations or pre-employment.
- A professional manager has a good reason to suspect or believe you are acting under the effects of drugs or if they have other grounds to support their belief. This has to be founded on demeanor, speech, scent, and appearance observations.
- Random sampling every worker must be given an equal chance of being chosen and tested in truly random selection processes used in random testing. These are finished once a quarter.
- Testing for drugs and alcohol is necessary before returning to work after breaking the rules. Such tests have to be carried out under close supervision. You could well be tested at least six times during the first 12 months and are not allowed to return to any DOT jobs until you have passed the exam.
- Tests done later on after returning to duty. A SAP oversees the follow-up testing for up to five years, choosing how frequently and for what substances each worker gets tested. Along with other DOT-required tests, these are done.
- After-accident evaluation. You must do this if you’re engaged in an accident that meets specific DOT requirements. In under 8 hours of the collision, an alcohol test must be administered, and 32 hours later, a drug screening.
Educating your employees about such drug tests is a good place to start in terms of work place training.
When Are Drivers Subjected to Drug Testing?
You should expect to take a DOT drug test on a few occasions. The first one is for a new position. You may anticipate a DOT drug test whenever you begin a new job as a CDL driver. When there is a good cause to believe you are intoxicated or are affected by alcohol or drugs, your workplace may also conduct a drug test.
In this instance, their worries must be supported by reasonable observations. This might involve a person’s look, odor, conduct, or other telltale signs. Finally, every three months, employers will conduct random DOT drug testing to make sure that each employee is deemed safe enough to drive alongside other road users. While you may not be tested every three months, it is very likely that someone in your business will be, according to this.
The following actions are forbidden for drivers to engage in while they are on the job, under DOT regulations:
- Alcohol-related intoxication
- Usage of drugs, including residual doses in your body
- Rejecting a drug test at work.
What Happens If I Fail?
There would be several repercussions if you reject or fail a DOT drug test. Most certainly, you’ll lose your job right away. You would ordinarily be asked to quit your employment immediately since employers are not obligated to hold off on the Medical Review Officer’s (MRO) final report.
Your driving privileges or license may be taken away in certain circumstances. The final results will vary slightly based on your employer and your work contract.
Reach out right away if you think a medicine or other circumstance caused it to be a technical error.
Although you won’t be able to provide a second sample, you can request that it be re-evaluated. To support your case, you will require a follow-up consultation and documentation of your prescriptions.
How Can I Go Back To Work?
There is a different procedure for continuing if you decline or fail a drug test. Even while you’ll probably be asked to quit your work right away, it doesn’t always follow that you’ll never be allowed to drive again.
After failing a drug test, drivers often undergo a Return to Duty process that involves months of close collaboration with a competent SAP.
The SAP designs a program that might involve therapy or education. Your employer would no longer be in control at this point. SAP’s judgments are definitive in the end.
Drivers may be qualified to go back to work with their prior or a new company after the SAP determines that they are healthy and have finished the rehabilitation program.
Will This Be a Record for Me?
The FMCSA Clearinghouse maintains a record of unsuccessful DOT drug testing. The Clearinghouse also keeps track of refusals to submit to a drug test. When a motorist fails or declines a drug test, the SAP will continue to contact them.