What is a DOT drug test?

A DOT drug test for safety-sensitive employees is one that is regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) under the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act. The specifics can be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 40, published by the Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance (ODAPC).

Who must take a DOT drug test?

If you have employees defined in DOT regulations as “safety-sensitive,” they must take the DOT drug and alcohol test.
Besides regulation by the DOT, these employees may fall under the jurisdiction of several other federal agencies. Examples of these include:

  • Federal Aviation Administration which regulates drug and alcohol tests for flight crews, flight attendants, aircraft dispatchers, ground security coordinators, etc.
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which regulates holders of commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) to operate Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs).
  • U.S. Coast Guard regulates commercial vessel crew members.
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration covers oil and gas works in operations, maintenance, and emergency response.
  • Federal Railroad Administration regulates testing of engine & train workers, signal service workers, train dispatchers, and certain track workers.
  • Federal Transit Administration regulates various other vehicle operators, controllers, mechanics, and armed security.

What does a DOT drug test cover?

The DOT drug test is done through a urine sample that looks for the residue of:

  • Marijuana metabolites/THC
  • Cocaine metabolites
  • Amphetamines (including methamphetamine, MDMA)
  • Opioids (including codeine, heroin (6-AM), morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

When should a DOT drug test be administered?

Regulations require a DOT drug test in specific situations:

  • When a pre-employment test is a condition of a job offer
  • If a trained supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • When random screening detects the presence of a regulated substance
  • During return-to-work testing
  • As part of a post-accident investigation

What regulations apply to administering a DOT drug test?

The regulations around DOT drug tests are extensive and specific.

For instance, if an employee returns to work after a drug or alcohol violation, you need to conduct a DOT drug test when that person returns to work, then follow up with at least six unannounced random tests in the first year after their return. The tests much be managed by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) who stays on the case up to
five years.

Following an accident that meets DOT criteria, the employees involved need to take an alcohol test within eight hours and a drug test within 32 hours.

Each agency, in addition to the DOT, has testing regulations and protocols you must follow. Patient Plus can keep you in compliance in this complex and fast-changing arena.

Talk to us about DOT drug test programs and regulations

We can help you with a program that is effective for your workplace safety and complies with all DOT drug test regulations. Call us directly at 225-376-2601 or fill out the form below.

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