What is a DOT drug test?
In 1991, the U.S. Congress passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act when they recognized the need for a drug and alcohol-free transportation industry. This act requires that DOT regulated employers implement a drug and alcohol testing program for their safety-sensitive employees.
The DOT regulations and procedures are listed as 49 CFR Part 40. These rules are published by the Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance (ODAPC). The Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance publishes and provides authoritative interpretations of these rules. Each DOT agency and the U.S. Coast Guard write industry-specific regulations, spelling out who is subject to testing, when, and in what situation.
Who is required to get DOT drug & alcohol tests?
Anyone designated in the DOT regulations as a “safety-sensitive” employee is subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing. A safety-sensitive employee is someone who holds a job that can impact both their safety and the safety of the public.
These are some of the DOT regulations on who is subject to testing:
Aviation (FAA) Flight crews, flight attendants, flight instructors, air traffic controllers at facilities not operated by the FAA or under contract to the U.S. military, aircraft dispatchers, aircraft maintenance or preventative maintenance personnel, ground security coordinators and aviation screeners. Direct or contract employees of 14 CFR Part 121 or 135 certificate holders, Section 91.147 operators and air traffic control facilities not operated by the FAA or under contract to the US Military. See FAA regulations at 14 CFR Part 120.
Commercial Motor Carriers (FMCSA) Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders who operate Commercial Motor Vehicles, 26,001 lbs. GVWR. Or greater, or operate a vehicle that carries 16 passengers or more including the driver, or required to display a DOT placard in the transportation of hazardous material.1 1 In some instances, states allow waivers from this qualification, such as operators of fire trucks and some farm equipment. Check with your state department of motor vehicles for more information. See FMCSA regulation at 49 CFR Part 382.
Maritime (USCG) An agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Crewmembers operating a commercial vessel. See USCG regulations at 46 CFR Parts 4 & 16.
Pipeline (PHMSA) Operations, maintenance and emergency response. See PHMSA regulations at 49 CFR Part 199.
Railroad (FRA) Hours of Service Act personnel, engine & train, signal service or train dispatchers. See FRA regulations at 49 CFR Part 219.
Transit (FTA) Vehicle operators, controllers, mechanics and armed security. See FTA regulations at 49 CFR Part 655.
What do DOT drug tests test for?
All DOT drug tests test for the following:
- Marijuana Metabolites (THC)
- Cocaine Metabolites
(including Methamphetamines, MDMA, MDA)
(Including Codeine, Morphine, 6-AM (heroin), Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
*Specimens collected for testing are:
Alcohol: Breath & Saliva
* The FRA requires blood specimens as part of their Post-Accident testing.
When are safety-sensitive employees required to get a DOT drug test?
DOT drug tests are required in the following situations:
- Pre-Employment: prior to starting your job responsibilities.
- Reasonable Suspicion: when a trained supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that changes in appearance, behavior, or Job performance may indicate drug or alcohol use.
- Return-To-Duty: after a violation of drug and alcohol testing rules. Prior to returning to any DOT-regulated work function.
- Follow up: takes place after a return-to-duty test. A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) will determine how many tests you will have and when, with a minimum of 6 tests within the first 12 months.
- Post-Accident: If you are involved in an event (accident, crash, etc.) meeting specific criteria of the DOT agency. Contact us to determine if the accident meets the requirements for a DOT drug test.
What happens if I fail my DOT drug test?
If you fail your DOT drug test, your employer will immediately remove you from performing any DOT safety-sensitive job. For more information check out our article on “My Driver Failed A Drug Test, What Now?”
Nationwide Testing Associations experts stay -up-to-date on DOT regulations and are here to assist you. If you’re interested in using Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., contact us today!