Health

Things to Know About DOT Drug Testing

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We have to start by saying that DOT drug test is the mandatory regulation by the Department of Transportation for all businesses and personnel that are operating within it. Everything started back in 1991 after the U.S. Congress passed a screening act, which is still relevant.

The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act requires that all agencies that are operating within the Department of Transportation to conduct both alcohol and drug tests to maintain public and personal safety of your employees.

Have in mind that this particular drug-screening requirement falls under particular procedures within the Federal Regulations that you can find on DOT’s official website. 

We recommend you to check out this link: https://www.staffordandheafner.com/importance-of-dot-drug-testing-in-the-transportation-sector/ to learn about the importance of DOT screenings.

Who Has To Undergo DOT Screenings?

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Generally, these regulations are affecting all safety-sensitive workplaces and employees. When it comes to safety-sensitive, you should know that if your job can affect the safety of the public and other employees, it means that you need to avoid anything that could cloud your judgment.

The most common DOT department safety-sensitive positions include:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – Generally, if you wish to obtain a commercial driver’s license for operating CMVs, vehicles that transport hazardous materials and that carry 16 passengers or more, you need to undergo drug testing.
  • Federal Aviation Administration – Everyone that operates within the flight crew, including aircraft dispatchers, flight attendants, and ground security coordinators, also have to pass the test to work correctly.
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration – Everyone that operates within the maintenance and operations that could affect and lead to severe issues for the general public has to be completely sober and without traces of illegal substances that could affect the productivity as well as safety of others. You should check here to visit the official website that will explain to you everything accordingly. 
  • Federal Transit Administration – If you work or wish to start to work as a vehicle controller, operator, mechanics, or armed security, you also have to prepare for the testing process.
  • Federal Railroad Administration – Finally, if you operate within the railroad administration, including engine and train personnel, train dispatcher, and service worker, you have to comply with all regulations, including passing a DOT drug screening, among other things.

Everything You Should Know About DOT Drug Tests

  1. Type of Substances

Have in mind that this particular type of screening includes the same 5-panel screening that will check the traces of THC and other weed metabolites such as CBD, amphetamines, cocaine, PCP, and opioids, including the prescriptions such as hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone.

Even though the screening methods tend to vary and we can differentiate various types depending on the specimen used to test the presence of drugs, the most common method for DOT screening is urinalysis.

  1. When Should You Conduct It?

Have in mind that this particular type of screening is required in particular situations, including:

  • Pre-Employment – The most common reason for testing is as part of the pre-employment process, which means that they will check your history of drug consumption and abuse before you start taking responsibilities.
  • Reasonable Cause – In case superiors have reasonable suspicion that someone is under the influence of drugs during the working hours that could lead to it. Remember that it is based on observation, including smell, speech, behavior, and appearance, among other things.
  • Random – On the other hand, random screenings are also frequent in this particular industry, especially since it is the best way to reduce the chances of someone tampering with results. Of course, employers have to follow specific regulations regarding the random selection process that will not interfere with your rights as an employee. Generally, random tests tend to happen quarterly or once in three months.
  • Return to Duty – In case you have experience with alcohol and drug abuse and you violated the agreement you signed, you will have to cleanse yourself before returning to duty. Keep in mind that you will not be able to return to your position before they subject you to random screening at least six times in one year. Of course, all screenings require direct observation throughout the process.
  • Post-Accident – This particular type of screening tends to happen in case you get involved in some accidents within the DOT business you operate. Generally, they have to conduct a drug test within 32 hours after accident and alcohol screening within eight hours afterward.