Important Things To Know About Drug Testing Procedures For DOT

If you are going to observe the number of accidents happening on the road, then you will learn that most of the drivers involved are driving while intoxicated with illegal drugs like marijuana because they believe that this will keep them awake. However, they are not also thinking that they may not be in the right condition to perform their duties and responsibilities because the effects of toxins may lead to mental impairment that can affect their behavior and focus on the road.

I supposed they are aware of the DOT drug testing procedures, especially when they are hired as company drivers. Keep in mind that as a professional driver, you have to make sure that you can perform your job safely because one particular motor vehicle accident may end one’s life, injure an individual, and destroy properties.

Now, if you are going to drive a car or truck when you know that you are tipsy and quite in a euphoria, then you should ask yourself if you will be able to reach your destination because you are at risk due to hallucinations. The effects of alcohol as well as marijuana or cocaine will change your good side and this will put you into trouble.

What if you will be caught and charged with a DUI during your working hours because police officers are strictly implementing the law and would like to minimize the abuse alcoholism? Think about how this will affect your work, future, and the company that employed you because to be in such a situation may change your life and you might find it difficult to get a second chance. This is the main reason why every employee whose job is related to transportation services must undergo thorough screening before starting to sign a contract and even when already in a position if requested.

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Department of Transportation

The DOT in the United States has a law where every employer must strongly implement a policy that will require the employers, especially those who are driving as a part of the company’s functions, to submit a valid alcohol and drug testing result. This should be made as an imperative and a mandatory rule to ensure the public’s safety because a single road accident may risk the lives of innocent individuals and properties. Visit https://www.congress.gov/bill/102nd-congress/house-bill/3361/text to continue reading about this bill passed by the US Congress in 1991.

This law is specifically intended for safety-sensitive employees who are dealing or in-charged with transportation services either by land, water, or air. Working impaired will not only be dangerous to the working environment but for the workers as well. This will greatly affect the good reputation of the company so through the said law, current and future employees should comply with this screening.

This law applies to drivers, operators, engineers, mechanics, technicians, pipeline controllers, captains, pilots, and other personnel. The drug testing will be conducted to screen the use of prohibited drug groups, such as THC or marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine. You will be asked for this laboratory test for pre-employment, post-accident, return-to-duty, follow-up, and random purposes.

Where and How

You cannot go to any doctor when performing this type of requirement. The Department of Transportation has a list of agencies where you are only allowed to go for your specimen to be collected. If you are going to submit a result that was screened by a hospital, clinic, or laboratory that is not accredited by the DOT, then the employer will not consider it as a valid testing result.

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When you are already in the clinical laboratory, the experts are going to collect the specimen which could be in the form of urine, saliva, or hair. There will be a specialist or they are going to assign someone to assist you with your needs. The sample will be screened in a few days and then they are going to send you the result.

By the way, once the outcome for drug testing is positive, the experts are going to repeat the procedures. Now, if it turned out to be positive again, then that will be the final result and that would be sent as a report.


Technicians

Any specialist with prior knowledge about the said screening is not allowed to take the specimen or sample from the employees. For drug tracing, it has to be collected by the screening test technicians or STTs, while Breath Alcohol Technicians or BATs should be collecting the samples for the alcohol content using approved screening devices. These technicians are trained and it is their duty and responsibility to send honest and precise results to the respective employers with confidentiality – read here for more info.

Even the immediate supervisors, high-ranking officials, or company owners cannot collect your specimen. However, during the absence of the technician, you may be allowed if the DOT agents will grant you this request if you are qualified to do so.

Screening Procedure

The technicians are given standard procedures to follow during the collection of saliva. They will be using a device that needs to be thoroughly checked before use and this will be opened from the package in your presence.  For example, this device should not be expired, so that accurate and precise results will be achieved.

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You will be given instructions on how you are going to use the device and they will make sure that you can follow according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Most of the time, the technicians will do the procedure on their own by inserting this tube into the mouth and that’s if the employee cannot activate the device, so make sure that the person in-charged is wearing gloves. Sometimes, the device may not work, especially when it fell to the ground, so this must be discarded and a new device must be used.

Everything that will happen during the testing will be reported and documented. As soon as the result appears on the device, the technician must show it to the employee. That’s how fast and reliable devices are for screening alcohol content, but it will take a longer time for tracing illegal drug content.