This is a drug test regulated by the government, specifically the Department of Transportation (DOT).

In 1991, the United States Congress passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, recognizing the need for drug and alcohol-free transportation in the transportation industry. The law required transportation ministry agencies to conduct drug and alcohol tests on safety critical employees in order to maintain the safety of passengers and workers.

DOT’s drug testing rules and procedures are listed in Section 40 of Section 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), commonly referred to as “Section 40.” These rules are published by an agency of the Department of Transportation: the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC).

DOT agencies and the US Coast Guard are developing industry-specific regulations to determine who should be tested, when, and in what situations. Industrial employers monitor compliance with regulations governing their business.

Who Should Take the DOT Screening Test?

All employees identified as “safety sensitive” by DOT rules must be tested for drugs and alcohol. A safety-conscious employee is someone who performs work that can affect both their own safety and that of the public.

Here are some of the DOT departments with security sensitive roles:

  • Federal Aviation Administration: flight crew, flight attendants, air traffic control, flight safety coordinators, etc.
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: holders of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) using commercial motor vehicles (CMV), vehicles carrying 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or vehicles carrying dangerous goods, who are required to hold a DOT plate.
  • United States Coast Guard: Crew members operating a commercial vessel.
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: operations, maintenance and emergency personnel.
  • Federal railway administration: staff of working time laws, train drivers, train drivers, signaling operators or train dispatchers.
  • Federal transport administration: vehicle drivers, air traffic controllers, mechanics and armed security personnel.

What do DOT drug test?

All DOT screening tests use the same 5 test. He tests:
  1. Metabolites of marijuana and THC
  2. Cocaine metabolites
  3. Amphetamines (including methamphetamine, MDMA)
  4. Opiates * (including codeine, heroin (6-AM), morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone and oxymorphone).
  5. Phenocyclidine (PCP)

While there are several drug testing options, urine samples should be used in DOT-regulated drug testing.

When is it necessary for safety sensitive workers to participate in a DOT drug test?

DOT drug testing required in the following situations:

Before being recruited or before taking a job.

Reasonable suspicion / guilt or if one or more trained supervisors reasonably believe / suspect that you are under the influence of drugs. It should be based on appearance, behavior, speech, smell, etc. observation.

Random test. A truly random selection process should be used in random testing: every employee should have an equal chance of being selected and tested. They are completed quarterly.

Return-to-work test required after breaking drug and alcohol rules. You cannot resume any DOT work until you have been tested, and you may be unexpectedly tested at least six times in the first 12 months. These tests must be carried out under direct observation.

Follow-up tests to be performed after returning to work. A substance abuse professional (SAP) performs follow-up testing for up to five years and determines how often an employee is tested and for what substance. These tests are performed in addition to other tests required by DOT.

Post-accident tests. This is required if you are involved in an accident that meets certain DOT criteria. A blood alcohol test should be done within 8 hours of an accident and a drug test within 32 hours.

What happens if I do not pass the DOT drug test?

If you fail a DOT-regulated drug test, DOT regulations require your employer to immediately remove you from all safety-sensitive DOT jobs. There may also be other consequences, such as the loss of a certificate or license. It depends on your company’s employment policy or contract.

Concentra’s workforce experts will keep abreast of DOT regulations and ensure your business complies with them. If you would like to use Concentra’s controlled drug testing services, please contact a member of our team. Our clinics also have a certified medical examiner who is always available to perform DOT physical exams.

* The DOT rule came into effect on January 1, 2018, when the term opioids was changed to opioids and four semi-synthetic opioids were added to the test group.