What Is DOT Drug Screening?

DOT drug screening Ooltewah, TN

If you work in public transportation, you may need to have a DOT drug screening. The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates this test and requires it for you. You might be wondering what this test is like. Keep reading to learn more.

Who needs a DOT drug screening?

Congress passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act in 1991. Congress knew that the transportation industry needed to be free of both alcohol and drugs. The new law required DOT facilities to test employees for the substances. That could prevent accidents from public workers. Various DOT facilities create regulations specific to industries. The employers must implement these regulations.

Anyone designated in DOT regulations as a “safety-sensitive” employee is subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing. A safety-sensitive employee is someone who holds a job that can impact both their own safety and the safety of the public. Some people who might need to get this type of screening include:

  • Federal Aviation Administration: Flight attendants, ground security coordinators, flight crews and aircraft dispatchers
  • U.S. Coast Guard: Members who work with a commercial vehicle
  • Federal Transit Administration: Mechanics, armed security, vehicle operators and controllers
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: Maintenance, emergency response and operations
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Holders of Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL), drivers of vehicles of 16 passengers or greater and drivers of vehicles that have hazardous materials in them
  • Federal Railroad Administration: Engine and train workers, train dispatchers and signal service workers

These and other employees will need to do a DOT drug screening before beginning their job responsibilities. If there is a reasonable cause for suspicion, the individual may be screened. One example might be if the individual seems to behave or speak as though they are using drugs. Quarterly random testing is also done for many companies to make sure that their employees adhere to all rules and regulations.

Sometimes, however, employees will violate the rules about alcohol and drugs. Before returning to the job, the individual will need to have a screening. For this type of screening, someone must observe the person giving the sample. The employee will most likely need to do follow-up tests for several months after.

What a DOT drug screening looks for

No matter where an individual works, every drug test will look for the same things. This includes if the employee has been using marijuana, including THC. A DOT drug screening also looks for cocaine, opioids, amphetamines and phencyclidine (PCP). In general, drug tests have several options. However, for a DOT drug screening, the individual must provide a urine sample.

Get your DOT drug screening today

If you do not pass your DOT drug screening, you will no longer be able to work. You may also lose other privileges. Your employee agreement will determine this. The good news is that there should be nothing to worry about if you do not use drugs. Getting your DOT drug screening now can allow you to begin your new job.

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