Frequently Asked Questions.
Q. What is the difference between a DOT random
testing pool and a NON-DOT random testing pool?
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
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?
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?
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
Q. My driver has been chosen several times in a
row for random testing, do I have to test him/her again?
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
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
The probability of it happening is very remote due to the cut-off levels used
by the laboratory.
How long does it take to clean drugs out
of my system?
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
- Marijuana: 1-5 days after last time used, up to 30 days for chronic
- 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:
- 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.
- The driver must complete a DOT return-to-duty test that is verified
negative before he/she drives into the U.S. again.
- 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?
You may call our main office anytime Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm EST.
For Post-Accident Bookings After Hours:
Q. When is a Post-Accident test required and how
do I book the test?
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?
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
Q. How long will it take for drug test results
to come back for my driver?
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
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
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
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.