What is DOT drug testing? Here at America Drug Free, we work closely with both DOT and non-DOT businesses to ensure that they have the tools they need to stay compliant with government requirements. In today’s blog, we’re going to discuss what is required of DOT-regulated employers and how you can stay in compliance easily.

What Is DOT Drug Testing?

DOT drug testing is a specific set of testing procedures that are required at different stages in an employee’s employment connection with a DOT employer. 

Who Needs to Worry About DOT Drug Testing?

Anyone who works in a “safety-sensitive” role is required to submit to periodic DOT drug testing; these are employees who could reasonably harm anyone in the public while doing their job. This might include ground security, aircraft dispatch agents, and flight crew members. It can also include everyone from commercial drivers to those who transport dangerous materials. Armed security guards would also be required to submit to DOT drug testing.

What Is Non-DOT Drug Testing?

Any drug test that is required by an employer that is not bound to the DOT regulations is considered non-DOT drug testing.

Which America Drug Free Panel Should You Use?

If you want to stay minimally compliant with DOT standards, the federal guideline is to use a standard 5-panel drug test. You can see how the 5-panel and 10-panel drug tests differ here: The 5 Panel Drug Test and 10 Panel Drug Test. However, a 5-panel urine test is the most common for DOT use.

What Is Caught in a DOT Panel?

Keep in mind that the DOT also requires a breath alcohol test as well. We are only covering drug panels in this post. For a DOT drug test, urine (or sometimes saliva) will be tested for:

  • THC and other marijuana metabolites
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines like MDMA
  • Opioids like heroin and oxycodone
  • PCP

When Is DOT Drug Testing Required?

Drug tests will usually be required under the following circumstances:

  • Pre-employment, during the interview process or prior to the employee’s first shift
  • If there is “probable cause”
  • Random intervals
  • After a violation and before returning to duty
  • Follow-ups after returning to duty after a violation
  • After an accident

What Happens if a DOT Drug Test is Failed?

A failed drug test usually first results in a probationary period, but it will depend on what industry and severity the employer is dealing with. Sometimes, no warning is given and termination will occur. Sometimes, an employee can even lose their license to operate completely. DOT regulations state that the offending party at least be immediately removed from duty; the capacity is up to the employer.

America Drug Free: Your Source for Onsite & DOT Testing

Keep in mind that drug testing requirements changed a little bit during the pandemic. However, testing was still required where possible, and it was required that, in the event of a test being skipped, a plausible reason must be given. America Drug Free has worked hard to make sure that tests are available and easy to use for employers across the Metro Atlanta area.

Does your business need on-site drug testing services? Contact our team today.