A Look at DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing

Everyone knows that drugs, alcohol, and driving can be a deadly mixture. That’s why the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 was passed, requiring various personnel in transportation industries to submit to drug and alcohol testing. If you operate a business that requires your employees to operate motor vehicles, you must have an alcohol and drug testing program in place. It doesn’t matter whether your business is large or small—the regulations are the same. Keep reading for a closer look at DOT drug and alcohol testing.

Understanding the Law

Although there are a few small exceptions, any driver of a commercial motor vehicle must be tested for the presence of drugs and alcohol. If a driver tests positive, he will be prohibited from driving or performing any other safety-sensitive services. Drivers cannot operate vehicles or be on duty while under the influence of illegal drugs, or within four hours of consuming alcohol. As of January 1, 1996, any employer without a drug and alcohol testing policy in place can be held liable and face penalties associated with non-compliance. The law also requires that employers give anyone who fails a drug test the opportunity to receive treatment, though the employer is not required to pay for rehabilitation.

Types of Testing

As an employer, you must have six kinds of drug testing as part of complying with DOT policies: pre-employment, post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion, return to duty, and follow-up testing. All drivers must comply with any of these types of test, and refusal to do so means that an employee cannot perform any safety-sensitive functions. Pre-employment drug testing can take place at any point during the hiring process at the discretion of the employer. Employers are also free to institute their own drug testing policies in addition to the ones set forth by the DOT.

Don’t gamble with the safety of your employees or the future of your business. Call Oschmann Employee Screening Services at (520) 745-1029 to help you create a drug testing policy that is in compliance with all state and federal regulations. We will make sure your policy is clear for both you and your employees.

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