A guide to DOT drug testing
Government-regulated Department of Transportation drug tests are conducted here.
In 1991, Congress enacted the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act to create a drug-free transportation industry. To ensure the safety of employees and the traveling public, DOT agencies must administer drug and alcohol tests to safety-sensitive employees. Find out more at ntatesting.com.
Specifically, Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) describes the procedures for conducting drug and alcohol tests. A copy of these rules can be found at the Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance Office of the Department of Transportation.
According to regulations, the U.S. The Coast Guard and the Department of Transportation specify who is required to undergo testing and when. Companies in those industries implement those regulations.
Do DOT drug tests have to be administered to everyone?
Under DOT regulations, certain employees may be subjected to testing for drugs, including those designated as “safety-sensitive”. Employees who work in safety-sensitive jobs may have jobs that affect their safety as well as the safety of other people.
There are safety-sensitive positions at the Department of Transportation:
- FMSCA: Commercial Drivers License holders who operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), vehicles with 16 passengers or more, or vehicles that transport hazardous materials who are required to display DOT placards.
- USCG: Members of the crew of commercially operated ships.
- Administrators of hazardous material transportation safety: emergency responders, operators, and maintenance workers.
- FRA: Workers covered by the Hours of Service Act, such as locomotive and train operators, signal operators, and train dispatchers.
- FTA: A Director of Operations for Transportation, as well as controllers, mechanics, and armed guards!
Is it necessary to administer DOT drug tests to safety-sensitive employees frequently?
DOT drug testing is required in the following circumstances:
Reasonable suspicion: That you are impaired when someone, or more than one, trained supervisor believes that you are impaired. It is necessary to consider appearance, behavior, speech, smell, etc., in order to make this decision.
Tests that are random. All employees should be given the same chance to be selected for random testing. Random tests are administered every quarter.
Return-to-duty testing, following a violation of a drug or alcohol policy. A minimum of six unannounced testings may be required in the first 12 months prior to returning to a DOT position. The tests are conducted under direct observation.
Follow-up testing following return to duty. SAPs have the responsibility for managing follow-up testing for employees for up to five years, as well as which substances and how often these tests will be conducted. DOT-mandated testing is done on top of follow-up testing.
Post-accident testing. The DOT must complete an accident report if certain conditions are met. Alcohol and drug testing need to be conducted within 8 hours of the accident and within 32 hours of the accident.
If I fail the drug test, will I be fired from the DOT?
Failure to pass the DOT-regulated drug test will automatically result in termination from safety-sensitive jobs with the DOT.
Aside from losing your certification or license, other penalties may apply. Depending on your employer’s policies or employment agreements, these may include termination.
As part of our workforce management services, we ensure that your company remains compliant with DOT regulations. If you would like more information about our regulated drug testing services, you can contact us through Concentra. We employ certified medical examiners at our clinics who perform DOT physicals on a constant basis.