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DOT Drug Testing: What You Should Know

Transport personnel work in a setting where safety is a priority, necessitating stricter substance testing policies that follow the DOT testing guidelines. It might be essential to educate yourself about this crucial test if you work in the transportation sector. In this article, we will explore more about DOT drug testing.

What Exactly Is DOT Drug Testing?

The government, specifically the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the US, regulates this drug test. The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act was passed by the United States Congress in 1991 after they realized how important it was for the transportation sector to be free of drugs and alcohol. In order to maintain the safety of both workers and the travelling public, the legislation mandated DOT agencies to carry out drug and alcohol testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions.

According to DOT regulations, if one fails their drug test, the employer must immediately stop them from undertaking any DOT safety-sensitive work. Other negative effects could include losing certification or a license. This is dependent upon the policy or employment contract of the company.

Who is Required to Get DOT Drug Tests?

Anyone who is listed as a “safety-sensitive” employee under DOT regulations is liable for DOT testing for drugs and alcohol. A worker who is concerned about their own safety as well as the safety of others is said to be safety-sensitive.

Among the DOT divisions with positions that require attention to safety are:

  • Federal Aviation Administration, including flight attendants, ground security coordinators, and aircraft dispatchers
  • U.S. Coast Guard: Personnel working on a commercial ship
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: workers in maintenance, operations, and emergency services
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration including holders of Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) who operate Commercial Motor Vehicles, automobiles that carry 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or vehicles that are used to transport hazardous substances and are required to display a DOT sticker
  • Federal Railroad Administration: employees covered by the Hours of Service Act, such as train and engine operators, train dispatchers, or signal service personnel
  • Federal Transit Administration: Armed security, mechanics, controllers, and vehicle operators

What Does DOT Drug Testing Test For?

DOT Drug Testing
DOT Drug Testing

The 5-panel test is used for all DOT drug tests. It checks for:

  • THC or marijuana metabolites
  • Stimulants (including MDMA and methamphetamine)
  • Metabolites of cocaine
  • Opioids (such as heroin (6-AM), codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone)
  • Phencyclidine

Despite the availability of a variety of options, DOT-mandated drug tests must be conducted using urine samples.

Components of the DOT Drug Testing

Random testing is one of the main elements of DOT drug testing. In this scenario, a certain portion of the workforce is tested over the course of a year, with employees chosen at random for testing. This ensures that businesses maintain a safe working atmosphere and helps to discourage drug and alcohol use among workers.

Pre-employment testing is another essential component of DOT drug testing. In the trucking and aviation industries, this is necessary for all positions that require a high level of safety. This guarantees that none of the staff members is using drugs while operating vehicles or machinery that could endanger others.

Another essential component of DOT drug testing is for-cause testing. The employer must administer a test to ensure the safety of the employee and others if an employee exhibits behavior or actions that allude to drug or alcohol use.

The DOT mandates post-accident testing if there are fatalities or serious injuries that necessitate medical attention. Post-accident testing makes it possible to identify whether drug or alcohol use contributed to the accident and enables action to be taken to stop similar incidents from happening in the future.

Are you looking for DOT drug testing for your employees? Don’t worry, because AFC Urgent Care Burke has experts that will help you carry out this test. Our Burke walk in clinic has been helping businesses ensure they maintain a safe work environment.


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