FAQS About DOT Drug Testing
The department of transportation puts safety in high regard. That’s why they maintain rigorous standards when it comes to making sure their employees don’t put the public or their fellow workers at risk by coming to work under the influence of a substance. Trying to understand who and when you might be subject to DOT drug testing can be confusing.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of common questions often asked by DOT employees. Having it all in one place lets you know what to expect when you find yourself in this situation.
What Kind of Drug Test Does The DOT Use?
The DOT only performs urine analysis as part of their drug tests and don’t ask for other bodily samples.
What Substances Do They Look For In A DOT Drug Test?
The DOT reviews your specimens for any signs of the following drugs:
- Marijuana or THC
- Phencyclidine, also known as PCP
- Any Amphetamines, including MDMA and methamphetamine
They look for anything capable of rendering you impaired while you’re driving, flying, or performing any other job function for the DOT.
What Are The Cutoff Levels For Passing A DOT Drug Test?
Laboratories employed by the DOT must adhere to certain cutoff levels for an initial drug test and any follow-ups to confirm the results of the first test.
DOT Drug Type Cutoff Levels
Marijuana/THC: 50 ng/mL3 for the first screening, and 15 ng/mL for the confirmation screening.
Cocaine: 150 ng/mL3 for the first screening, and 100 ng/mL for the confirmation screening.
Codeine and Morphine: 2000 ng/mL for the first screening, and 2000 ng/mL for the confirmation screening.
Hydrocodone and Hydromorphone: 300 ng/mL for the first screening, and 100 ng/mL for the confirmation screening.
Oxycodone and Oxymorphone: 100 ng/mL for the first screening, and 100 ng/mL for the confirmation screening.
6-Acetylmorphine: 25 ng/mL for the first screening, and 25 ng/mL for the confirmation screening.
Phencyclidine: 10 ng/mL for the first screening, and 10 ng/mL for the confirmation screening.
Amphetamine and Methamphetamine: 500 ng/mL for the first screening, and 250 ng/mL for the confirmation screening.
MDMA and MDA: 500 ng/mL for the first screening, and 250 ng/mL for the confirmation screening.
What Is A Non-DOT Urine Drug Test?
A non-DOT drug test comes from an employer not bound by the regulations of the DOT. They create their own rules around the types of tests they perform and what they consider acceptable. That means they can look for additional drugs not screened for by the DOT. They may also ask you provide samples other than urine. So you could be asked to provide hair, blood, or saliva samples upon request.
How Long Does A Failed Drug Test Stay On Your DOT Record?
Employers governed by DOT regulations must keep records on the results of a positive drug test for five years, including follow-up tests. Any records on negative results or any test ending up being canceled must be kept for one year.
Do You Have To Take A Drug Test As Part Of A DOT Physical?
DOT employees must only submit to a drug test under the following circumstances:
- As part of pre-employment screening
- If their employer has reason to suspect they’re under the influence
- For random tests being done in general within the workplace
- When they return to duty after an absence
- For follow-up as recommended by an SAP (Substance Abuse Professional)
- If you were involved in certain types of accidents as outlined by the DOT
What Does The Cutoff Mean On A Drug Test?
The cutoff is where you’re judged to be in violation of DOT regulations. Being below qualifies as a negative result. Being above it means you’re positive and subject to a follow-up test. If that result also shows you above the DOT cutoff levels, you’re barred from performing sensitive DOT job functions and must get counseling from an SAP (Substance Abuse Professional). You’re can only return to work once they’ve cleared you to do so.
What Does The DOT Drug Test Stand For?
Drug tests are how the DOT confirms that its workers are fit for duty and don’t present a danger to the public. It’s a way to let the public know how seriously they take their safety.
How Long Does It Take To Get The Results Of A Drug Test?
DOT drug test results usually came back within 24-48 hours under old DOT regulations that only screened five panels. That expanded in 2018 to include screening for semi-synthetic opioids. That’s caused results to sometimes take 72-96 hours to come back.
Can I Refuse To Take A Drug Test?
Everyone working at a company subject to DOT regulations must submit to drug testing. Refusing to do so means being removed from your job and undergoing evaluation by an SAP.