Last updated: October 2, 2023
If you need drug testing done in Alabama for pre-employment, random, DOT, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return to duty, and probation drug testing, we’ve got you covered! Schedule employees at one of our drug testing facilities—or at your location, 24/7/365!
Need to schedule drug testing and don’t see your city listed? Just call us at 800-851-2021 and we’ll either get you to one of our locations near you, or we can send a mobile collection specialist to your location, anywhere throughout Alabama.
Call us at 800-851-2021 to schedule an Alabama drug test now!
Alabama drug testing locations
- Center Point
- Mountain Brook
- Vestavia Hills
Don’t worry if your city isn’t listed. Just call 800-851-2021. We’ll be happy to assist you in finding a location nearby. However—and we’re sure to mention it during the conversation—you might decide to have us come to you instead.
That’s right. You’ll never have to search for “drug testing near me” again! We’ll send a mobile collection specialist to your location, anywhere throughout the state— 24/7/365.
Employees on the job site? We’ll find them.
Night shift coming due for the annual fitness-for-duty drug test? Why not have us show up during their shift rather than interrupting their sleep schedule to report for testing during normal business hours?
We offer employee education classes, management training, the DOT program, and, of course, we can prepare your drug-free program. We’ll even customize your policies to specifically meet the needs of your business. The phrase “drug testing near me” takes on an entirely new meaning when the test rolls right up to your location, doesn’t it?
- Medical Office D, 513 Brookwood Blvd Ste 506
- Birmingham, AL 35209
- 10710 Chantilly Pkwy
- Montgomery, AL 36117
- 124 S University Blvd
- Mobile, AL 36608
- 6140A University Dr. NW
- Huntsville, AL 35806
- 300 Towncenter Blvd Ste D
- Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
- 1900 Crestwood Blvd
- Irondale, AL 35210
Alabama drug testing laws
In addition to the federal drug and alcohol testing law, Alabama has established a voluntary drug and alcohol testing program. The Alabama Drug-Free Workplace Program provides voluntary guidelines for employers that institute drug and alcohol testing programs and policies. Certain employers who implement a drug-free workplace program in compliance with the Alabama Drug-Free Workplace are eligible for a 5 percent discount on their workers’ compensation insurance premiums. Also, under Alabama law, employees may be disqualified from receiving unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits for testing positive for drugs or alcohol.
Drug-free workplace program
There is a 5 percent workers’ compensation insurance premium discount for employers that establish a drug-free workplace program through the state. However, self-insured employers are not eligible for this discount.
To qualify for the discount, an employer’s drug-free program must be certified by the Workers’ Compensation Division of the Alabama Department of Labor as being in full compliance with the law. Once an employer has been certified for more than four years, any premium discount is determined from the experience rating of the employer (or by the State Insurance Commissioner, if the employer is not experience-rated).
Denial of workers’ compensation
Under Alabama’s workers’ compensation law, benefits may be denied if an employee’s injury is due to intoxication from the use of alcohol or illegal drugs. For the purposes of workers’ compensation, a positive drug test performed in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s test regulations is considered sufficient evidence for a denial of benefits.
Additionally, an employee’s refusal to undergo a drug test is a valid basis for the denial of workers’ compensation benefits if an employer has warned the employee, in writing, that refusing to submit to a drug test forfeits the employee’s right to workers’ compensation.
Types of workplace drug testing
In order to comply with the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Drug-Free Workplace Program, an employer may choose to conduct the following types of drug tests:
Once an applicant has been offered a job, they must be tested. However, they may begin work pending the results of the drug test. Limited testing of applicants, based on a reasonable job classification basis, is allowed.
Drug tests must be conducted following any observed behavior creating “reasonable suspicion.” These behaviors must be clearly defined in the policy. Some examples of reasonable suspicion might include:
- Direct observation of drug or alcohol use, or the symptoms of being under the influence of a drug or alcohol.
- Abnormal behavior while at work or a significant deterioration in work performance. Such behaviors should be properly documented in the event that an employee contests the accusation.
- A report of drug use is provided by a reliable and credible source.
- Evidence that an individual has tampered with a drug test while working for you.
- Information that an employee has caused or been involved in an accident while at work.
- Evidence that an employee has used, possessed, sold, or solicited drugs while working or while on the employer’s premises or while operating the employer’s vehicle or equipment.
- If the testing is conducted on a “reasonable suspicion” basis, the employer must promptly record the circumstances which formed the basis of the determination that reasonable suspicion existed to warrant the testing. Any documentation the employers have noted about an employee’s behavior must also be provided to the employee upon request.
Alabama employers participating in the drug-free workplace program are required to test employees after an accident.
If an employer requires an employee to enter a drug rehabilitation program as a condition of continued employment after a confirmed, positive drug test, the employee must then submit to random drug testing, at least once per year for a two-year period after completion of the program. Advance notice of the testing date must not be given to the employee. Also notable, if the employee voluntarily enters the program, the employer has the option to not require follow-up testing.
If annual physical fitness for duty examinations are required, these examinations must include drug testing.
Random drug testing
An employer may conduct random drug testing on employees.
Basic rights for employees
Employers who decide to begin drug testing must give employees a 60-day notice in writing of the intent to drug test.
If an employee tests positive, he or she has five days to contest or explain the result. Employers may not terminate an employee who tests positive initially until a confirmation test has been conducted and the case is reviewed by a medical officer.
Employees who voluntarily seek treatment for substance abuse for the first time cannot be fired, disciplined, or discriminated against.
Furthermore, an employer who implements a Drug-Free Workplace Program and becomes a certified drug-free workplace may be protected from workplace accidents that are a result of employees working under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Why have a drug-free workplace policy?
Studies have shown that a well-planned program reduces substance abuse and can increase productivity, reduce accidents, and decrease costs due to insurance claims. Moreover, all employees become more aware of the importance of safety in the workplace. Therefore, everyone benefits from a safer work environment.
An employer implementing this program will also receive additional benefits:
- If an employee incurs a work-related injury and refuses to take a drug test when requested, the injured employee may forfeit eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of the cause of the accident.
- An employee who loses a job or is denied employment as a result of a positive drug/alcohol test, may not qualify for unemployment compensation benefits. In that case, the contributory employer could be relieved of charges in connection with the unemployment claim.
- If drugs are found in the employee’s system at or above threshold levels, the injured employee may not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This applies to employers who are certified and in compliance with the program. If the employer is not certified as a drug-free workplace, and the injured employee is able to show that the cause of the accident was not related to the presence of drugs in his or her system, he or she may still be entitled to benefits.
- Employers who do properly implement a Drug-Free Workplace Program may be eligible for a 5 percent credit to their workers’ compensation insurance premium.
Alabama Marijuana Legalization
Governor Kay Ivey signed “The Darren Wesley “Ato” Hall Compassion Act,” otherwise known as SB46, into law on Monday, May 17, 2021. Those applying to be accepted into the medical marijuana program must have a qualifying condition and a physician’s certification. There’s a $65 fee to register. Minors are eligible for the program too but are restricted to products containing not more than 3% THC.
Medical cannabis products carry a 9% sales tax.
Unlike other states, medical marijuana possession in Alabama is measured in doses. A registered patient may possess up to seventy (70) daily doses at a time. The dosage for each qualifying condition is determined by the fourteen (14) member Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, with most cases capped at fifty (50) mg of THC per day.
At this time, there are no legal protections for medical cannabis users at work, and employers may still prohibit—and test for—marijuana use.
Drug testing methods
There are three primary methods used for employee drug testing.
- Hair follicle
- Mouth swab tests
It’s also possible to drug test employees using a blood test, however, it’s extremely rare. They’re expensive, extremely intrusive, and must be performed by trained medical personnel under proper medical conditions. Blood tests may be named for post-accident testing, however, as they identify the parent drug and, therefore, can determine current impairment. This is useful information for investigators trying to determine the accident’s cause and who’s responsible.
All test samples, meaning hair, urine, and saliva, undergo an immunoassay (IA) test first. Subsequently, those testing positive go on for a second test to confirm the results. The gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test identifies the drug level contained in the specimen as well.
Mouth swab test
We mentioned above that if an employer participates in Alabama’s Drug-Free Workplace program, restrictions bar them from implementing the use of a mouth swab drug test. Even so, employers not participating in the government program are free to choose them. Mouth swab drug tests identify recent drug use. The detection period begins just minutes after use in most cases and, depending on the drug, identifies drugs in the system for up to 72 hours prior to the test.
It’s impossible to fake these test results. The employee is unable to switch the sample as they never leave the administrator’s sight. Moreover, products claiming to “detoxify” the system are misrepresenting themselves because the body naturally cleanses itself at its own pace. Lastly, there’s no way to strip the drug metabolites from the saliva.
By far, the most widely used drug test on the market is the urine test. They’re cost-effective, accurate, and, to be honest, although considered intrusive, they’re the ones employees expect upon learning there will be “a test.”
The range of detection varies from within a few hours of use up to a few days or weeks, depending on the drug itself. Heavy marijuana users, however, may test positive for over thirty days.
Employers receive results in less than a week.
Hair follicle drug test
The hair follicle drug test affords employers the longest detection period justifying its cost for many employers. This test identifies any and all drug use for a ninety-day period. In fact, there’s no limit as to the length of time the hair test identifies drug use.
Drug metabolites store themselves all over the body until excreted. Those stored in the hair follicle don’t get too far away. They grow out into the hair shaft infusing themselves with the hair. Consequently, they remain there leaving a permanent record of drug use.
Human hair grows about half an inch every month. Hair samples are cut to a standard test length of one and one-half inches, thus, establishing the ninety-day window.
There are instances when a court order requests a longer period of detection. Laboratories can easily accommodate the request by increasing the length of the hair sample.
It takes about a week to receive results.
USA Mobile Drug Testing uses the above methods to identify all types of drugs. Unless regulated by the DOT or some other entity, employers are free to choose the drugs included on the company drug test.
We identify amphetamines and methamphetamines within our amphetamine test panel. THC identifies medical marijuana users and even CBD use when the product contains high levels of THC hidden within them due to poor extraction processes.
We also have the capability to identify “specialty” drugs, like bath salts or steroids, for instance. We have a panel to identify synthetic marijuana too.
We’ve established that the amount of time that a drug remains in the system is dependent on the drug itself. Subsequently, even those detection windows vary.
So, why is that?
There are several factors that play a part in the length of time that specific drugs can be identified in the body.
- Genetics—The speed at which your body metabolizes everything is unique to your genetic makeup. Therefore, our DNA has everything to do with it.
- Dosage and frequency—It makes sense that the amount of drug ingested and how often it’s taken determine the amount of time it remains in the system. For example, someone that uses once in a great while versus someone with an addiction.
- Body Mass Index—Your height, weight, and fat cell ratio play a part in how and where drug metabolites are stored. For instance, heavier people may retain drug metabolites in the system longer because those stored in fat cells take longer to clear.
- Age—Younger people tend to metabolize things faster than older people.
The Department of Transportation was created to ensure the general public’s right to safe passage. It regulates the industries that transport people and products.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- Federal Railroad Administration
- Federal Aviation Administration
- Federal Transit Administration
- United States Coastguard
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
Part of the regulations includes employee drug testing.
DOT drug test
It won’t be much longer and the DOT will be changing from the urine drug test to the hair follicle test. At this time, an official request is circulating through the chain of command and is not expected to meet with resistance at any point.
This is the second change the DOT has made to its drug testing regulations in the past few years. In January 2019, it extended the opiate panel to include four synthetic opioids.
Physicians heavily prescribed these prescription painkillers until realizing their high potential for addiction. By then, however, the damage had been done and addiction to these drugs was and is running rampant through our country.
The trucking industry stands behind the DOT’s decision to use the hair follicle test. In fact, some employers in the industry incur the additional cost of using both the DOT drug test and the hair follicle test as well.
Moreover, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed changes to its drug testing policy to include mouth swab testing. The proposals were published on Monday, February 28th, 2022. The proposal is aimed at saving employers in the trucking industry time and money because the mouth swab test is completed in minutes getting the driver back out on the road in the least amount of time.
Beginning January 6, 2023, employers are no longer required to query both the FMCSA Clearinghouse and previous employers (for a three-year period) on all potential drivers to search for unresolved drug or alcohol violations. As of that date, an accurate and “real-time” database was determined to be established. Employers need only access the Clearinghouse when hiring new employees.
Employers are required to report any drug or alcohol violations to the database within 3 business days. They may designate their C/TPA to handle testing and reporting on their behalf.
If I take my medical marijuana card with me to the drug test, will I be excused when it shows up in my system?
No. Employers hold the right here in Alabama to follow company policy in regard to a positive THC result on an employee drug test in regard to medical marijuana use. Subsequently, that often means employee termination.
Can I dispute a drug test result if my employer used a mouth swab test? Won’t they get in trouble for that?
Employers that utilize a mouth swab drug test can’t participate in Alabama’s drug-free workplace program. Employers that don’t participate in the program are free to use this method of testing.
Can I access the Clearinghouse and see if there’s any information there about me?
Yes. Drivers can register with the Clearinghouse and are free to access it at any time with no charge.
I’m an owner-operator so does that mean that I query myself?
The FMCSA requires that all drivers be queried once a year. However, you need to have your C/TPA (consortium/third-party administrator) handle the particulars for you. If you’ve already registered with the Clearinghouse, you’ve probably designated them to access the database on your behalf already.
I have a prescription for my oxy—my back’s in really bad shape—that’s going to keep me in the clear, right?
If you’re holding a safety-sensitive position, it’s technically possible. You’ll have a chance to provide medical evidence of your claim. But, a prescription isn’t going to do the trick. Your doctor needs to contact the MRO to discuss alternatives. If none can be decided upon, the doctor needs to state that in writing and verify that you are able to function normally while under the influence of the painkiller.
Ultimately, though, the decision is left up to your employer. Your odds are pretty low because it’s a pretty big risk to incur on your employer’s part.
Can I admit that I have a problem with drugs to my employer and keep my job?
If this is the first time that you’ve considered getting help for your problem, do it! Hopefully, your employer will work with you and your job will be waiting for you. Don’t let the fear of losing your job stop you from seeking help with your problem with drugs or alcohol.
Enroll in rehab and fight like you’re fighting for your life! We’re rooting for you. And, when you step out clean and sober on the other side, you’ll be amazed at the doors of opportunity that open for you. Stay strong!