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Get the Facts about Positive DOT Drug Tests

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 2:43 p.m.


Get the Facts about Positive DOT Drug Tests

Our organization is here to help you get the facts about positive DOT drug tests. The Department of Transportation (DOT) drug test is one of the most comprehensive tests for detecting substance abuse. Knowing what to expect can help you understand why positive DOT drug tests are taken seriously and how to take steps to avoid having a positive result. Now, let’s dive into some key facts about DOT drug testing. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact our company. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

What Drugs Will the Department of Transportation Detect?

The DOT is tasked with keeping the roads safe, and takes this job seriously. As part of their efforts, they have established regulations that test for various drugs to detect impairment. This testing can occur both pre-employment or randomly while on the job. The following substances may be detected:

• Amphetamines (speed)

• Cocaine

• Marijuana

• Opiates (heroin)

• Phencyclidine (PCP)

• Barbiturates

• Benzodiazepines (tranquilizers like Valium and Xanax)

Failure to comply with any drug tests conducted by the DOT can result in severe consequences such as termination of employment, monetary fines, and penalties. You cannot afford to ruin your career in transportation by taking drugs—also, Requirements for Positives or Refusals.

What Would Happen if I Test Positive on the DOT Drug Test?

There will be consequences if you test positive on the DOT drug test. Depending on the circumstances, you could face various penalties, including suspension, probation, or even termination.

It's important to remember that your employer has a right to seek out and eliminate any safety risks that can jeopardize the completion of their duties and operations. As such, if they are notified of any substance use violations regarding DOT tests, they must take appropriate action to ensure that their workplace remains safe and compliant with established regulations. DOT disqualifying medical conditions

That being said, it is also essential for employers to maintain a sense of fairness when dealing with these cases by understanding why the employee tested positive in the first place. So, an employer could provide reasonable solutions rather than immediately firing the employee.

Generally speaking, if you are an employee of a federally regulated carrier, then FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) regulations dictate that your employer must remove you from safety-sensitive functions. Then, you will be referred to a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) for evaluation. The SAP will recommend treatment and any follow-up testing that may be required as part of a return-to-duty process before you can return to your job. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working.

How Does a Driver Get Back to Work after Failing the DOT Drug Test?

If you’ve recently failed a DOT drug test, don’t despair! You may be able to get back on the road in no time. Here are some tips to help you get back on track:

  • Drivers must contact their employer immediately following a failed drug test.
  • The employer will provide instructions on how to proceed and any necessary paperwork that needs to be completed.
  • Seek treatment for any substance abuse issues that caused your failed test result. Taking care of yourself should always come first! Many different types of programs are available, including outpatient and residential facilities. Speak with your doctor or a qualified health professional to determine which program is best for you.
  • Ensure all required documentation is completed for the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). The SAP will assess whether or not you are qualified to return to work after completing any recommended treatments or interventions.
  • Once the SAP has cleared someone for rehire, the driver can typically resume driving duties without retaking the DOT drug test. Visit DOT Authority Package, Tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes.

Is It Better To Fail a DOT Drug Test or Refuse?

When it comes to taking a DOT drug test, many people question whether it's better to fail or refuse. The answer is not an easy one and depends on the situation. While there can be severe consequences for failing a DOT drug test, refusal also carries its own set of risks. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

It is important to remember that refusing to take a DOT Drug Test violates federal regulations. If you refuse to take the test, you will likely face disciplinary action from your employer and possible civil penalties for non-compliance with federal laws. Depending on the particular circumstances, this could have severe long-term implications for your career and future employment prospects.

On the other hand, failing a DOT drug test could result in the consequences mentioned on this web page. It’s up to you, but, the best thing to do is not to ingest any banned drugs so that you can maintain DOT compliance for years to come. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

With the DOT, Are Positive Drug Tests the Same as Failed Drug Tests?

No, they're not the same. Positive drug tests occur when a drug test result indicates that an individual has levels of a specified drug or metabolite above the established cutoff level. This is in contrast to failed drug tests, which are triggered by testing positive for drugs or their metabolites banned by the DOT.

So, while both indicate that someone has been using drugs, only failed drug tests put an individual at risk of facing legal consequences according to DOT regulations. That being said, employers need to be aware that any indication of illicit substance use should be taken seriously and handled accordingly. Must visit Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs.

What Is DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.23?

DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.23 is a federal regulation that requires employers to have a comprehensive drug and alcohol testing program in place for all DOT-regulated employees. This includes personnel undergoing:

  • random testing
  • reasonable suspicion testing
  • post-accident testing
  • return-to-duty testing
  • follow-up testing

The regulation also outlines detailed requirements for collection procedures, laboratory services, and medical review officer (MRO) processes. Failure to comply with the rule can lead to severe consequences. These include fines, suspensions, or even disqualification from carrying out regulated activities. Thus, employers must ensure they fully comply with this legal requirement to safeguard their staff members and operations. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

Key Takeaways: Facts About Testing Positive on DOT Drug Tests

Here are some crucial pieces of information to remember about testing positive on DOT drug tests. If you need more information, we encourage you to contact our third-party organization for further guidance.

  • DOT drug testing is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
  • Testing may be done randomly, pre-employment, post-accident, and in reasonable suspicion cases as prescribed by DOT regulations.
  • A positive test result can lead to disciplinary action, including suspension or termination from employment.
  • The employer must provide written notification to the employee that they have tested positive for drugs on a DOT drug test.
  • An individual can dispute their results, in writing, within 72 hours of being notified by providing additional documentation or evidence.
  • If a dispute is not filed within 72 hours, the results are considered confirmed and will be reported to the employer.
  • Employers may take disciplinary action according to their policies and procedures upon confirmation of a positive drug test result. This can include suspension without pay or termination.
  • Employees will also be disqualified from performing safety-sensitive duties associated with their jobs until they complete the return to duty requirements set forth by the Department of Transportation. Visit BOC-3 to know more.
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