DOT Testing



On The Dot Screening specializes in DOT testing where safety-sensitive employees are tested for drug and alcohol use. DOT standards require a urine sample to be given. There must be a Custody and Control Form (CCF) sent to the lab with the sample. DOT regulations specify that safety-sensitive duties will not be permitted without a negative drug test result.

When would someone be required to take a DOT drug test?

Pre-employment: Employers are required to obtain a DOT drug test, but they can also choose to have the employment candidate tested for alcohol. 

Random testing: The employee will be randomly selected and will step away from his/her duties long enough to provide a sample for testing. Refusal to test can result in consequences equal to a verified positive result. 

Reasonable suspicion: If an employer has a suspicion based on observations of behavior, appearance, smell, or speech, the employee is required to participate in a drug and/or alcohol test. 

Return-to-duty testing: After having tested positive on a DOT drug/alcohol test and successfully completing the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) part of the process, you will be required to have an observed and negative urine test before being eligible to return to any safety sensitive duties. You will also have follow-up testing done based on the SAP’s recommendations.  

Follow-up testing: The SAP will provide follow-up recommendations to your employer detailing how many follow-up urine tests you will need to submit to. Follow up tests are never announced to the employee ahead of time and they are always observed by a same sex collections agent. 

Post -accident testing: in certain instances and depending upon the specifics of the accident, an employee may be required to submit to an alcohol and/or drug test. You cannot refuse the test. If you do, it is considered a positive test and action, potentially firing, will be taken. 

Are DOT urine tests always observed?

No. However, tests will be observed if the collector finds any signs of tampering including:

  1. The temperature of the specimen is outside a normal range
  2. The specimen appears to have been altered
  3. The collector finds any item which could have been used to contaminate or defeat the test
  4. The test is a return-to-duty or follow-up test
  5. The Medical Review Officer requires it 
The DOT requires a 5 panel drug test.

As we’ve mentioned it is always a urine test and is sometimes observed. What drugs are they looking at with a 5 panel test? 

Phencyclidine (PCP)

Marijuana metabolites (THCA)


/ Methamphetamine (including MDMA/MDA)

Cocaine metabolites


What about CBD, Medical Marijuana, and Recreational Marijuana?

None of these substances are allowed for safety-sensitive employees. Since CBD products may contain detectable levels of THC, even if the packaging says differently, it’s best to avoid using these products. If there are detectable levels in the specimen, it will be a positive result and the Medical Review Officer will not verify it as negative. Again, this applies to medical marijuana regardless of State law.
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