Last updated: February 24, 2020
Yes, we have thousands of Georgia drug testing locations. However, you realize USA Mobile Drug Testing will come to you, right? Just let us know when and where. We’ve got you covered from there.
- Reasonable suspicion
- Return to duty
- Probation drug testing
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Georgia drug testing locations
- College Park
- East Point
- Johns Creek
- Powder Springs
- Sandy Springs
- Villa Rica
- Warner Robins
Don’t see your city listed? No worries. Call USA Mobile Drug Testing at 800-851-2021 and we can either help find a location near you or send a mobile collection specialist to you, anywhere throughout Georgia—24/7/365.
- 4149 Arcadia Industrial Cir SW
- Lilburn, GA 30047
- 550 Peachtree St NE, Ste 1775
- Atlanta, GA 30308
- 2712 N Decatur Rd
- Decatur GA 30033
- 497 Winn Way Ste 115
- Atlanta, GA 30308
- 285 Boulevard NE, Ste 215
- Atlanta, GA 30312
- 1136 Cleveland Ave, Ste 303
- East Point, GA 30344
- 5673 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Ste 125
- Atlanta, GA 30342
Georgia drug laws
The state of Georgia has little tolerance for drug possession.
If facing charges for possession, penalties depend on a number of things. The type of drug and the quantity confiscated play a part of course.
Drugs classed a Schedule 1 by the Drug Enforcement Administration include heroin, peyote, LSD, ecstasy, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and currently, marijuana remains on the list. Possession of any Schedule 1 controlled substance or Schedule 2 narcotic is a felony. Therefore, it is punishable by law with a sentence of two to up to 15 years in prison for the first conviction. A second conviction increases the punishment from five years to up to 30 years in prison.
Schedule 2 drugs (other than narcotics) found in one’s possession are a felony punishable with a sentence of two to up to 15 years in prison. A second conviction, however, is punishable by five to thirty years in prison.
Possession of Schedule 3, 4, and 5 controlled substances is a felony that is punishable by one to five years in prison. A second conviction is punishable by one to ten years in prison.
Furthermore, anyone found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia or packing materials indicating the intent to sell could be convicted of a misdemeanor punishable with up to one year in prison, a fine of $1,000, or both.
If the person arrested has never been convicted in Georgia or any other state, the court may withhold finding guilt and instead impose a period of probation. The probation period may include attending a drug treatment program. If the defendant meets the terms of probation with no violations, the court will dismiss charges. On the other hand, if the defendant violates the terms of probation, the court resumes criminal proceedings.
Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor with the fine being up to $1,000, one year in prison, or both. Someone found to be in possession of more than an ounce of marijuana is charged with a felony offense. They risk going to prison for up to ten years.
Someone who is arrested with intent to distribute risks going to prison for between five and forty years depending on the amount of marijuana in their possession. While there are no recreational marijuana laws in place, other than the fact that less than an ounce is a lesser misdemeanor charge, there is a form of medical marijuana approved in Georgia.
If approved by a physician, medical marijuana in the form of cannabis oil has been legal since 2015. However, it was just in April 2019 that Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill into law allowing the growing and selling of up to 9 acres of indoor growing space to be used for oil cultivation.
Georgia drug testing laws
Many employers choose to drug test because drugs in the workplace are a huge safety risk. Moreover, Georgia employers that participate in the state’s drug-free program receive a 7.5% discount on their workers’ compensation insurance. That’s certainly an attractive side benefit.
However, employers that don’t want to test every job applicant may choose to only test applicants whose jobs will require potentially dangerous activities. For instance, someone carrying a weapon or operating heavy machinery will require passing a pre-employment drug test.
When employers plan to drug test, they must note it in all job announcements or ads.
Employers who institute a drug-free workplace program within the state of Georgia are required to drug test in the following cases:
- Post-accident which resulted in lost work time
- Reasonable suspicion—suspicions must be documented and made available to the employee upon request
- As part of a routinely scheduled fitness-for-duty medical exam
- Post-rehab, only if entering a rehabilitation program was the result of a positive drug test. Employees returning to work after completing voluntary rehabilitation is not required.
Moreover, employers may set up a random employee drug testing pool if they choose to do so. However, random drug testing isn’t mandated by the state of Georgia’s drug-free workplace program. Also, if someone fails a company drug test, their claim for benefits will be denied.
Blood testing is rarely used for employee drug testing due to its expense and highly invasive nature. Blood tests detect the parent drug rather than drug metabolites. Therefore, the detection window is mere hours for nearly all drugs. However, methamphetamines remain in the blood for one to three days.
The test must be administered in a medical setting by trained medical personnel. It’s often reserved for post-accident testing when determining
There are three primary test methods used for employee drug testing. They are the urine, mouth swab, or hair follicle drug tests. Georgia’s drug-free workplace requirements don’t include using a specific drug test. Therefore, employers who aren’t mandated to use the DOT drug test can use any of the testing methods that they choose.
Urine drug test
The urine drug test tops the charts as the most used employee drug testing method. As a matter of fact, it was the only drug testing method available for many years. However, over the years, drug users became more capable of finding successful ways to adulterate this test. Scientists invented both the mouth swab test and the hair follicle test in an attempt to combat that problem.
Today, urine tests have become extremely effective at detecting drugs and adulterants or other attempts to falsify these tests. Drug users still try, however, and discover the hard way that shouldn’t have been their chosen course of action.
The identification period is drug-specific and varies from mere hours up to three weeks or so. Marijuana is the exception to the rule as chronic users can test positive for THC for over thirty days.
These tests are cost-effective and produce accurate results. If the immunoassay (IA) test shows a positive result, the sample is sent on for confirmation testing using the gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MC) test. This test also specifies the drug(s) and drug level(s).
Results return in less than a week.
Mouth swab test
This method also goes by the names of saliva or oral fluids test. It’s in the midrange in regard to cost being more expensive than the urine test but less expensive than a hair test.
The mouth swab test detects recent and even current impairment for some drugs. The window of detection is the shortest of the three primary methods, however, only lasting up to seventy-two hours depending on the drug. For instance, marijuana is only detected on this test for about twenty-four hours no matter how often the drug is ingested.
Mouth swab testing technology is becoming more and more sophisticated and the results are extremely accurate. Consequently, it’s virtually impossible to switch the specimen as the test subject never leaves the testing technician’s sight. Moreover, attempts to falsify the test using mouthwashes or other adulterants claiming to mask or “detoxify” the drug metabolites in the body are false. The body is constantly producing saliva and it will be collected by the mouth swab.
At the lab, the mouth swab samples undergo an IA test and those yielding positive results go on for the GC/MS test for confirmation. The second test also determines the drug type and level found in the system.
Employers receive the results in a couple of days.
Hair follicle testing
The hair follicle test is unique in that it identifies any and all drug use for a 90 day period. It’s more expensive than either the urine or saliva drug tests. However, the extended detection period outweighs the cost in the eyes of many. In fact, some employers in the trucking industry require their employees to submit to both the DOT drug test and the hair follicle test. They choose to incur the added expense of additional drug testing to have access to the extended detection period.
In addition, the hair follicle test is impossible to falsify. Drug metabolites store themselves throughout the body until excreted. Those that stow away in the hair follicle, actually grow out into the hair shaft becoming a part of the hair. Moreover, there’s no way to rid the hair of them or to cover them with a substance that will hide them from the test.
We determine the 90-day detection period by hair length. Human hair grows at the rate of about 1/2 inch per month. The standard test length for the hair follicle test is one and one-half inches. Thus, one and one-half inches equals ninety days. However, laboratories honor requests to extend the detection window ever further by increasing the length of hair tested.
It won’t be much longer before the DOT drug test changes from the urine test to the hair follicle test. The request is currently making its way through the chain of command and isn’t expected to meet with resistance at any point along the way.
Comparatively, it takes about a week to receive results.
The standard 5 panel employee drug test is widely used by employers of the general workforce. As its name implies, it accurately detects five of commonly abused drugs in the workplace. The drugs identified on the test typically include amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, and PCP.
However, some employers choose to use a more extensive test and look to the 9, 10, or 12 panel drug tests. USA Mobile Drug Testing offers these test panels, however, we don’t limit employers to the drug panels we placed on them. Employers are free to swap a drug on the test panel for another, can add additional drugs to the test panel they’ve chosen, or even create their own unique drug screen panel.
Some specific drug identification periods
We’ve mentioned that the specific length of drug detection varies, with the exception of the hair follicle test. Some examples of detection periods follow:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines are detected on the urine test for two or three days, but habitual use may show up for four days. The saliva test identifies amphetamines for twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
- Barbiturates remain detectable in urine for up to three weeks and in the saliva for up to three days.
- Benzodiazepines show up in urine tests for up to ten days and in the saliva for about two and a half days.
- Cocaine is traceable in urine tests for up to three days and in the saliva for up to two days.
- It takes a couple of hours for ecstasy to show up in a urine test and it can be identified between one and three days thereafter. Saliva tests pick up on ecstasy in as little as 15 minutes after taking the drug. It remains traceable for one or two days.
- Synthetic opioids, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone, are identifiable in urine between two to four days. Saliva tests vary a bit more ranging from up to 12 to 48 hours depending on the frequency of use.
- Methaqualone detection lasts up to three days when using a urine drug test. The saliva test detects this drug for at least one day, however, if used frequently it shows up for a longer period of time.
The DOT (Department of Transportation) was created to regulate the safety-sensitive workforce through the following administrations.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- Federal Railroad Administration
- Federal Aviation Administration
- Federal Transit Administration
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
- United States Coast Guard
The goal of the DOT is to ensure the safety of the general public as they travel by land, air, or sea. One of the regulations includes safety-sensitive employee drug testing. Employers regulated by the DOT implement the following employee drug tests:
- Pre-employment drug testing
- Random drug testing
- Reasonable suspicion drug testing
- Post-accident drug testing
- Return to duty drug testing
- Probationary period drug testing
The DOT mandates the use of the urine drug test that includes a specific drug panel.
DOT drug test
The DOT drug test requires employers to test for five of the most commonly abused drugs in the workplace. They are amphetamines, opiates, cocaine, marijuana, and PCP (phencyclidine). However, in a direct attempt to combat the growing opiate addiction crisis plaguing our nation, they added four semi-synthetic opioids to the test panel in January 2018.
Hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone are highly addictive pain medications. Heavily prescribed by physicians for years, these drugs are highly addictive. Sadly, many who found themselves craving the drugs when they were no longer prescribed the medication turned to the black market. Or, perhaps, in an attempt to feed the addiction when their drug of choice became too costly, they turned to heroin use instead.
The DOT has long considered switching from the urine drug test to the hair follicle drug test. We previously stated that the official request is currently making its way through the chain-of-command. Many expect it to complete the process in the near future.
Another change on the horizon
Beginning January 6, 2020, safety-sensitive employers begin using the FMCSA Clearinghouse. This database is being set up to better track safety-sensitive employees that have outstanding drug or alcohol violations. Employers may begin registering with the Clearinghouse now and must query all prospective employees beginning January 6th. Moreover, employers will still need to conduct manual inquiries with previous employers in addition to the Clearinghouse query until January 6, 2023. From that point forward, only Clearinghouse queries will be necessary.
The FMCSA Clearinghouse will be an invaluable tool for prospective employers. It will be virtually impossible for drivers with violations to obtain a job with a new employer by simply not listing the employer they worked for when receiving the violation. Furthermore, drivers will no longer be able to pick up and move to another state and apply for a new CDL. The Clearinghouse will link the driver to his old CDL, thereby, maintaining complete and accurate information.
Not only will it incorporate all 50 states, but drivers from Canada and Mexico that transport goods in the U.S. must be listed in the database as well.
Once a driver successfully completes the return to duty process, they will be allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle again. However, records of drug and alcohol violations will remain on file in the Clearinghouse for five years or longer if the driver hasn’t yet completed the return to duty process.
FAQs / Employees want to know
Will I lose my job if I refuse the random drug test at work?
If you’re a public employee in the state of Georgia working a high-risk job, you can be chosen to take a random drug test. Consequently, if you refuse, your employer has the right to terminate you.
What happens if I refuse to take a pre-employment drug test for a state job?
In Georgia, if you refuse to take a pre-employment drug test for a state government job, public school employment, or private employment, you won’t get the job. Furthermore, if the job was for a state government or public school position, you can be barred from applying for any state government or public school jobs for two years.
I was involved in an accident at work and tested positive for pot. I did smoke a joint the weekend before but not the day of the accident. They disqualified my workers’ comp. Can they do that?
Yes. There is no marijuana test for current impairment at this time. Therefore, having marijuana in your system leaves reasonable suspicion that you may have been impaired at the time of the accident.
I’m an owner-operator, so it’s just me. Do I have to register for the Clearinghouse and submit a query on myself?
Yes, you have to be accounted for in the database. Your C/TPA (consortium/third-party administrator) can conduct your queries on your behalf. If there should be a drug or alcohol violation, the C/TPA is responsible for reporting to the Clearinghouse.
So, do I have a right to see what the Clearinghouse says about me?
Yes. Drivers can access the database free of charge at any time. Head over to the website to get signed up.
They legalized medical marijuana oil. I’ve got Chrohn’s disease and have medical authorization to use it. What happens if I pop positive on the test though?
Employers hold the right to make that decision. What’s your company’s drug policy say about marijuana? If they don’t stipulate allowing for medical conditions, they have no choice but to follow company policy.