DOT Drug Testing Requirements for Safety-Related Positions

Everyone with a safety-related position in the transportation industry must undergo drug and alcohol testing as a condition of employment. The rules for this type of testing are complex, but generally require that all employees have to submit to drug tests for four semi-synthetic opioids and marijuana. In addition, non-negative tests must be followed by confirmatory testing. Even medical marijuana isn’t a legal drug in the transportation industry, so it’s important to know about these requirements before beginning your employment.

DOT drug testing is required for all employees with safety positions

DOT drug testing is mandatory for all employees in positions of responsibility that require them to be physically or mentally capable of performing their jobs. Employees are typically tested at two different times: pre-employment, when the employee first begins their job responsibilities, and reasonable suspicion, when trained supervisors suspect that an employee may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Reasonable suspicion must be based on the employees appearance, behavior, speech, or smell. Subsequent tests are performed at quarterly intervals.

DOT pre-employment testing is also mandatory for employees working in safety-sensitive positions, such as flight attendants. In addition to pre-employment testing, new employees are also required to complete alcohol tests, unless the employee has a previous clean record. Whether an employee has a positive or negative result on a drug test, the employer must obtain a clean drug test before allowing them to begin working in a safety-sensitive position.

It includes four semi-synthetic opioids

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is now mandating that drug tests include four opioids, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and percocet. The new rules will also exclude MDEA. The new test is effective November 13, 2017, and employers are encouraged to change their contracts to reflect the new policy. Read on for more information on this new DOT mandate.

In January 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation expanded its drug testing panel to include four semi-synthetic opioids. These drugs are codeine, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and fentanyl. The new test will also detect marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and heroin. The higher the positivity rate, the more risk the test is considered to be.

It requires blind specimens

The Department of Transportation uses split specimen testing and NLCP certification for drug tests, and it relies on these laboratories for accuracy and a higher rate of test success. In addition, blind specimen testing has a lower false positive rate than other methods, and Labor Department data suggests that these methods are more reliable. In addition, the process of rejecting a false positive result is also simpler than random testing. It is also cheaper.

The history of blind specimen testing shows that its use has decreased over the years, but this hasn’t lowered the standards. In fact, the DOT has cut the percentage of testing performed using these methods from three percent to one percent with no known impact on accuracy or integrity. Labor department officials disagree with commenters who argue that eliminating blind specimen testing would lower standards. HHS continues to supervise the laboratories to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the process.

It does not authorize medical marijuana

There are several reasons why the Department of Transportation (DOT) does not authorize medical marijuana use. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which means that a positive marijuana test cannot be justified with medical grounds. Marijuana is also illegal under federal law. For these reasons, the use of marijuana by safety-sensitive employees is prohibited. Whether or not it is legal depends on the individual case.

In response to recent state laws legalizing recreational marijuana use, the DOT responded similarly. In a December 2012 Notice, the DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance stated that marijuana remains illegal in DOT drug testing. In such a scenario, MROs will not verify a negative marijuana drug test based on recreational use. However, MROs are required by DOT to follow federal guidelines and regulations and will not confirm a positive marijuana drug test based on recreational use.

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