Drug Testing

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Frequently Asked Questions.


Q. What is the difference between a DOT random testing pool and a NON-DOT random testing pool?

A. For motor carriers, a DOT random testing pool can only include drivers who drive in the United States who are governed by the regulations in 49CFR382 and 40.
A NON-DOT random testing pool consists of any person that is not mandated under DOT regulations, but is required by Company Policy to be part of a random drug and alcohol program.

Q. What are the DOT random testing rates for FMCSA?

A. The minimum annual testing rate for drugs is 50% of the average number of driving positions and the minimum annual testing rate for alcohol is 10% of the average number of driving positions.

Q. How is the random program random?

A. The names of all the eligible drivers in each company are placed in our computerized random generator. No one has control over which drivers are chosen.

Q. My driver has been chosen several times in a row for random testing, do I have to test him/her again?

A. Yes. The names of those tested in previous random selections must be returned to the pool for each new selection. Each driver must be subject to an equal chance of being selected during each selection process.

Q. What is a Consortium for the purpose of random testing?

A. A Consortium is a group of companies or individual drivers pooled together to meet the required drug and alcohol random testing rates.

Q. Can someone test positive on a drug test if they were exposed to marijuana smoke without smoking themselves (ie: second hand smoke)?

A. The probability of it happening is very remote due to the cut-off levels used by the laboratory.

Q. How long does it take to clean drugs out of my system?

A. THESE ARE JUST GUIDELINES - the detection periods quoted here may vary according to the individual's health, size and weight, metabolic rate, history of use (acute versus chronic), dose used, and the cut-off levels used by the laboratory.

  • Marijuana: 1-5 days after last time used, up to 30 days for chronic users
  • Cocaine: 12-96 hours after last time used
  • Amphetamines: 12-96 hours after last time used
  • PCP: 1-7 days after last time used
  • Opiates (Codeine, Morphine): 12-96 hours after last time used
Q. What do I do if my driver tests positive on, or refuses, a DOT random test?

A. Refer to 49 CFR Part 40, Subpart O. The following steps must be taken:
  1. The driver must see a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). The SAP will determine if the driver needs treatment. If the SAP recommends treatment, the driver must complete the required treatment before driving into the U.S. again.
  2. The driver must complete a DOT return-to-duty test that is verified negative before he/she drives into the U.S. again.
  3. The driver must complete any follow-up testing that the SAP recommends (if any). Note:  Drug Testing Centers of America will remind you in advance of any follow-up tests that are scheduled for your drivers (provided that we are supplied with these dates).
Q. How do I book an appointment for a drug or alcohol test, a physical or DNA Testing?

A. You may call our main office anytime Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm EST.
Corporate Headquarters: 
For Post-Accident Bookings After Hours:
Q. When is a Post-Accident test required and how do I book the test?

A. This is a very time-sensitive issue. Please call immediately if you need guidance. Refer to 49CFR382.303. 

Q. When can a 'reasonable suspicion' test be done according to DOT regulations?

A. Refer to 49CFR382.307 and 49CFR382.603. When a trained drug & alcohol supervisor observes a driver, and fully documents suspicious behavior occurring immediately before, during, or immediately after the driver performs safety-sensitive duties, he/she may then proceed with the appropriate drug or alcohol test.

Q. How long will it take for drug test results to come back for my driver?

A. A verified negative drug test should be reported the next day by mid-afternoon (as long as the collection is done at a high-speed site before the courier picks up the samples at the site, the test is negative with no complications, and your company has a confidential method of receiving results). A verified positive drug test is usually reported within 48 to 72 hours after collection depending on the drug that is detected.

Q. What do I do if I am being audited by the DOT?

A. Call Drug Testing Centers of America. We can help you to get ready for the audit, and provide you with copies of documents required by the DOT if any are missing from your files.
Q. What is a Medical Review Officer (MRO)? 

A. A Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a licensed physician, who is responsible for receiving and reviewing all "positive" drug test results from the laboratory. The MRO will also contact all individuals testing "positive" to inquire about possible prescription or over-the-counter medications which may have caused a "positive" test result.

Q. Is testing for additional drugs authorized? Must a separate specimen be obtained?
A. Employers in the transportation industry who establish a drug testing program that tests beyond the five drugs currently required must also make a clear distinction to their employees what testing is required by DOT authority and what testing is required by the company. Additionally, employers must insure that a separate specimen collection process including a separate act of urination is used to obtain specimens for company testing programs (DOT 49 CFR Part 40).
Q. What is an EAP? What function do they perform?
A. An Employment Assistance Program, or EAP, is a confidential, job-based program that helps to:
  • Identify an employee's problems.
  • Provide short-term counseling.
  • Provide a referral for treatment.
  • Provide follow-up services after treatment.

Q. Is my company required to provide the services of an EAP?

A. Yes, if your drug tests are DOT-mandated.
Q. What should I do if someone I work with has a drug problem?
A. That's a question you have to answer for yourself. But you owe it to yourself, the people who work with you and the person with the problem to seriously consider discussing it with your supervisor, shop steward or union representative. Whether or not you discuss it with the person who has the problem depends to a great extent on your relationship with that person. Most of the time it's not advisable. A person with a serious problem, whether it's drugs or alcohol, usually needs professional help.
Q. Can I test positive for secondhand smoke?
A. No. Research experiments have been conducted that exposed nonsmoking individuals to heavy concentrations of marijuana smoke in confined quarters. The nonsmoking individuals could not absorb enough smoke, even after several hours of exposure, to cause a positive result in subsequent urinalysis.

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