What is DOT Drug Testing?
The DOT Act was established in 1991 and consists of rules that regulate the commercial driving industry. Their primary focus and priority are to do with issues of safety of commercial driving for all that are concerned, including the drivers themselves.
It is required that all agencies and employers ensure that all employees under this criteria follow the stipulated rules and regulations of DOT.
The DOT rules are applicable to only one group of workers, who in this case are commercially licensed drivers. Even though other staff are involved, such as assistants who load and unload freight, they are not subject to DOT.
ALL the rules, regulations and procedures are to be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 40, in what is often referred to as “PAR 40”.
Who is Subject to DOT Drug Tests?
“Safety-sensitive” employees are the type of people that must undergo DOT drug testing.
These employees are usually categorized as safety sensitive because of the tasks they undertake, and not because of their job title.
The reasons for this are to ensure safety for all travelers, coworkers and the person themselves, as well as cargo.
As such, the following employees are required to be tested:
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): Employees in this group include flight crews and flight attendants, flight instructors, aircraft dispatchers, among others.
Federal Commercial Motor Carriers Administration(FCMCIA): Includes Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders operating Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs), as well as vehicles that carry 16 passengers or more (including the driver), or vehicles which transport hazardous materials and are required to display a DOT placard.
– U.S. Coast Guard (Maritime): Includes all crew members operating a commercial vessel.
– Federal Railroad Administration (FRA): all the Hours of Service Act personnel, engine & train, and signal service or train dispatchers are tested.
– Pipeline and Hazardous Materials (PHMSA): emergency response, Operations, and maintenance.
– Federal Transit Administration (FTA): It includes Vehicle operators, controllers, mechanics as well as armed security.
Typical DOT Drug Testing Requirements
Drugs test are usually done for such drugs as:
– Cocaine and opiates including morphine and codeine.
– Amphetamine, methamphetamine stimulants, and phencyclidine,
– Opioids such as codeine, heroin, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone.
Situations When DOT Drug Testing is Required
The following situation required a safety-sensitive employee to undergo drug tests.
– As a pre-employment requirement, and before you begin your work responsibilities.
– Whenever there is reasonable cause or suspicion for one to undergo the test, could mostly out of an employee’s appearance, speech or any other condition that warrants the need for testing.
– Testing can also be done at random and without warning, and are usually done on a quarterly basis
– As part of Return –To Duty Requirement, especially after a violation and can be done consistently for a period of 12 months after a violation.
– Can also be done as Post-accident testing if you are placed in those criteria.
What Are the Consequences for Failing a DOT Drug Test?
If it happens that you fail the DOT drug testing, the DOT rules, and regulations indicate the following:
Your employer is required to remove you from performing the DOT safety-sensitive job.
Depending on all the circumstances, as well as companies employment policy, you might lose your license.