A close-up image of a piece of paper that reads “Drug Test Result Form” with a pill bottle and pen on top in El Paso.
DOT Testing

What You Need to Know About DOT Drug Testing

DOT drug testing, while sounding intimidating and frightening, is nothing to worry about as long as you comply with DOT rules. The DOT, Department of Transportation, is a federally-operated organization in charge of transportation rules and standards. This includes truckers, train operators, flight crews, boat operators, and more. If you work in a department that falls under the purview of the DOT, DOT drug testing is a fairly regular occurrence. Drug tests are administered randomly, or on a set schedule, so you always have to be ready to pass. If you’re worried about being prepared for an upcoming DOT drug test, you’ve come to the right place. We will explain how DOT drug testing works, what to expect, and how to ensure you pass. 

If you require DOT drug testing in El Paso and want more information, Border Trucking Compliance can help. Contact us online or call (915) 838-1080 to learn more!

What is a DOT Drug Test? 

As the name indicates, a DOT drug test is a drug test administered by the Department of Transportation – an integral branch of the US government. DOT drug testing was first initiated in the early 1990s when it was discovered that there was an obvious need for more stringent drug testing among transportation professionals. The goal is to determine whether or not employees in transportation are abusing drugs or alcohol. 

Who Has to Get a DOT Drug Test? 

DOT drug testing, while administered by the government, is for more than just government employees. Anyone considered a “safety-sensitive” employee would have to take a DOT drug test at some point in their career, if not several points. Safety-sensitive employees include anyone whose job puts both them and the general public at risk should they make a mistake. 

Here are some of the most popular jobs that are considered “safety-sensitive.” 

  • Working as a pilot or part of a flight crew 
  • Truckers 
  • Train drivers, operators, and personnel 
  • Boat operators 
  • Bus drivers 
  • Working with a pipeline or with hazardous materials 
  • The U.S. Coast Guard 
  • Federal Transit Administration employees 

Contact us to find out more about how DOT drug testing works with prescription drugs and medications. 

What Kind of Drugs Show Up During DOT Drug Testing? 

DOT drug testing is a fairly comprehensive test that checks for many drugs in your system, including the following. 

  • Alcohol 
  • Marijuana 
  • Cocaine 
  • Opioids 
  • Amphetamines 
  • Phencyclidine 
  • Many more 

A DOT drug test will catch all illegal drugs and even some legal ones. Essentially, if you’re taking a substance that impairs your judgment in any way, the DOT drug test will catch it. 

What Happens If You Fail a Drug Test? 

The Department of Transportation will inform your employer if you fail your DOT drug test. They will then be forced to remove you from your job posting. In addition to losing your job, there may be additional consequences for failing a DOT drug test. 

  • Losing your license 
  • Losing your certification 
  • Fines 

These additional punishments will depend on both the DOT and your employer. 

Can Anyone Get Drug Tested? 

According to the DOT guidelines, nobody is exempt from a random drug test. However, in addition to random DOT drug testing, there are a few additional scenarios where drug tests are likely. 

  • You’re returning to work after time off 
  • You were just involved in an accident 
  • You have a follow-up drug test 
  • You have done something to arouse suspicion from the DOT 

Who to Contact for All Your DOT Drug Testing and Compliance Needs

If you need a DOT drug test administered or want to ensure you’re fully prepared for an upcoming test, contact us at Border Trucking Compliance in El Paso. We will work with you and your team to ensure you’re DOT drug testing compliant and ready for one at any moment. Contact us online or call (915) 838-1080  to set up an appointment and learn more about the DOT drug testing process. 

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