DOT and Non-DOT Drug Screening – What Hirers Should Know

Drug testing is an essential step in screening employees. This is particularly true for businesses that must comply with Department of Transportation regulations (DOT), but it’s also an important consideration for all other organizations. Without a drug screening (coupled with a thorough background check), there’s simply no way to know whether a particular applicant poses a threat to your business. What should you know about DOT and non-DOT screening?

DOT Drug Screening

DOT drug screening must follow some very specific requirements as set forth by the Department of Transportation and the various agencies under its umbrella (Motor Vehicles, FAA, etc.). Urine collectors must adhere to rigid sampling requirements, and must be licensed to perform DOT drug testing sampling. What’s more, the samples must be screened for the specific substances listed by the DOT, and this testing cannot be done in combination with non-DOT tests. Also, remnants of the sample may not be used for non-DOT testing.

Non-DOT Drug Testing

Non-DOT drug testing has a much wider potential scope than DOT drug testing. Employers and testing facilities are free to test urine specimens (as well as hair, breath and other metrics) for many other substances beyond those listed by the DOT. For example, employers can opt for a 5, 9, 10 or 12-panel screening depending on their needs, preferences and the risk posed to that specific organization by drug use. While collectors do not have to be licensed by the DOT to collect samples, they do need to be trained in the process to ensure that the collection goes smoothly, that samples are labeled accurately, that records are kept and that transport to the testing facility is efficient and smooth.

Alcohol Breath Testing

Unlike drugs, alcohol leaves the body very quickly, and the only sure way to test for its presence is a breath test administered while the employee is suspected of being under the influence. Breath testing is generally not part of pre-employment screening, but is an important tool for safeguarding a business from an employee who drinks before, during or immediately after business hours (after hours, but before departing company property). Accurate breath testing can provide employers with an accurate determination of whether an employee has broken its alcohol use and abuse policy.

Partnering with a testing company that offers both DOT and non-DOT drug testing, as well as alcohol breath testing is an essential consideration for all businesses.

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