All About The DOT Drug Testing Requirements

DOT or Department of Transportation has enforced drug test to the motorists for good reasons. They aim to achieve a drug-free environment in transportation, so they have to set standard regulations. One aspect of the dot drug testing requirements require every commercial vehicle operators to be subjected to the test. Every employee and operator of commercial vehicle has to abide by this regulation.

Drug testing follows a stiff and precise procedure. To secure the privacy of the drivers and to ensure accuracy of results, the tests must only be performed in certain laboratories with NLCP certifications. The procedure includes urine sample collection, laboratory procedures, record keeping and reporting any form of violations.

A driver who is tested positive for any controlled substance will be notified before a penalty is handed down. He may discuss the results with a qualified Medical Review Officer. He is given the chance to explain to the MRO any special circumstances that could have affected the results. The MRO is authorized to report the results to the company’s program management for the appropriate actions.

The controlled substances being tested include amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, marijuana and phencyclidine among others. The named substances are believed to influence the mental state of its users. The substances can alter one’s judgment and alienate his ability. This can get in the driver’s duties and place the passenger in grave danger.

The tests are included in most carriers’ pre-employment process. They make sure that an applicant is free of any substance that could affect his performance before he can perform a safety-sensitive function. Thus, alcohol tests can also be included. Not only do they test the driver’s ability, they also gauge his accountability to his passengers’ safety.

The test may also be performed when an employer or supervisor has reasonable suspicions. If the driver’s performance have decreased significantly or a valid ground was established to believe that the driver is under the influence of drugs, a test may be executed to clear all suspicions. Until the driver clears his name, he may be placed under preventive suspension.

The company may also perform random tests at times. Names are randomly selected from the pool of drivers to be subjected to unannounced testing. A scientific method is used in the selection process to give each driver an equal chance of getting tested. The drivers’ names remain confidential until they are notified by the company. During which, selected drivers have to proceed to their testing facility. Those who do not comply can be awarded disciplinary actions as stipulated in the company’s regulations.

Drivers involved in a fatal crash must also submit themselves to drug testing. The results will determine whether he was influenced by a controlled substance when the incident took place. Even those cited for any traffic violations that led to a road mishap must also undergo the testing process. The test needs to be completed in 32 hours after an accident occurred.

Any driver who violated the drug regulations is banned from performing safety-sensitive duties. He needs to complete the substance abuse professional evaluation, referral and treatment process to clear his records. Meanwhile, a motor carrier’s failure to comply with dot drug testing requirements may lead to revocation of their license to operate, fines and filing of criminal cases among other penalization.

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