DOT Drug Testing


Why conduct DOT drug testing?

It’s the law.  Driving a commercial vehicle requires skill and attention on behalf of the operator.  Studies have proven that drug and alcohol use can inhibit the ability of a person to safely operating a motor vehicle.

The US DOT has created numerous regulations to prevent drivers from using drugs and alcohol in order to protect their passengers and the motoring public.  As a motor carrier it is your obligation to make sure that these procedures are followed.

Violating these laws can result in penalties ranging from fines to jail time. Compliance is strictly enforced, and proper documentation is mandatory.

Who needs DOT drug testing?

  • All CDL holders who operate a commercial vehicle must submit to a DOT drug testing.

When does DOT drug testing need to be done?

  • Pre-employment
    • A negative test result on a pre-employment drug test for a person, prior to using that person in a safety-sensitive position for the first time.
    • Breath Alcohol Tests:  You may conducted pre-employment alcohol testing under DOT authority, but only if two conditions are met:
      • The pre-employment alcohol testing must be done for all applicants [and transfers], not just some; and
      • The testing must be conducted as a post- offer requirement – meaning you must inform the applicant that he or she has the job if he or she passes a DOT alcohol test.
  • Post crash test must be performed
    • If a fatality occurred
    • If a citation was issued and an injury required immediate transport
    • If a citation was issued and a vehicle sustained disabling damage
  • Random at minimum
    • 50% annual drug pull
    • 10% annual alcohol pull
  • Reasonable Suspicion / Reasonable Cause
    • The supervisor or company official must have been trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol use
    • Suspicion must be documented
  • Post-Accident
    • Urine for drugs within 32 hours
    • Saliva or breath for alcohol within 2 hours but not more than 8 hours
  • Return-to-Duty
    • After a positive test a retained employee must submit to a Substance Abuse Professional for evaluation, referral, and education/treatment process. After completion, a negative test must be submitted prior to return to safety sensitive service.
  • Follow-up
    • After being allowed to return to safety sensitive service, an employee having gone through a treatment plan will be required to submit to a minimum of 6 follow up tests in 12 months. Your Substance Abuse Professional will set the recommended follow up tests.

What needs to be tested?

  • Urine only for drug tests (Some exceptions for Post-Accident)
    • Marijuana metabolites / THC
    • Cocaine metabolites
    • Phencyclidine (PCP)
    • Amphetamines and Methamphetamines
    • Opiate metabolites [Codeine, Morphine, and Heroin]
  • Must not perform any other test with DOT test sample

Record keeping

Employers are required to keep the following documents:

  • Custody Control Forms
  • Test results.
  • Testing process administration.
  • Return-to-duty process administration.
  • Employee training.
  • Supervisor training.

Records must be kept

  • 1 Year: Negative drug test results. Alcohol test results less than 0.02.
  • 2 Years: Records related to the alcohol and drug collection process.
  • 3 Years: Previous employer records.
  • 5 Years:
    • Annual MIS reports.
    • Employee evaluation and referrals to SAPs.
    • Follow-up tests and follow-up schedules.
    • Refusals to test.
    • Alcohol test results 0.02 or greater.
    • Verified positive drug test results.
    • EBT calibration documentation.
  • Indefinite period: Education and Training records
    • Two years after ceasing to perform safety sensitive functions.

Drug and alcohol testing is one of the most complicated areas of DOT regulations.  This list serves only as a quick reference sheet for some of the most common questions.  If you have individual concerns, please contact Limo & Bus Compliance and let us help.

For a more complete look at the DOT drug testing requirements click here

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