Drug Screen

Drug Screen Specialist
The Department of Transportation (DOT) test began in 1991 after Congress acted to ensure a drug- and alcohol-free transportation industry. Dr. F. Mark Paz and the team at Occupational Medicine of the Rockies in Golden, Colorado, provide DOT drug screens, which many businesses look to for pre employment and random drug testing for their employees. Call or click ‘Book Online’ today if you or your employees need drug screening.

Drug Screen Q & A

Who is required to undergo DOT drug and alcohol testing?

The DOT drug test is intended for those in jobs which the DOT defines as safety-sensitive. This includes those who drive commercially as well as operators of other modes of transportation, such as trains or ferries. Safety-sensitive roles do move beyond those who control vehicles, however. You may be required to undergo drug testing if you’re an airplane mechanic or a pipeline worker, for example.

If you’re not working in a safety-sensitive position, there are few limits for employers on drug testing under federal law. In such a job, you’re not required to take drug tests, but your employer isn’t prohibited from requiring drug testing as a condition of employment.

What is Colorado’s position on employee drug testing?

Unlike many states, Colorado has no laws covering workplace drug testing. This leaves an employer free to establish their own policy to cover jobs that aren’t considered safety-sensitive by the DOT.

Colorado law mentions drug testing in relation to unemployment. A company is not charged unemployment benefits when an employee is terminated for refusing or failing a drug test, as long as that test is in line with the company’s pre-existing policies. That is, they can’t dismiss you for failing or refusing a drug test if they have no written policy, but there are no restrictions on written policy.

What does a DOT drug and alcohol test screen for?

All DOT drug tests must use urine-based samples, and the tests screen for five substances or the chemicals left behind after taking these substances, called metabolites:

  • Amphetamines, including methamphetamine and MDMA
  • Cocaine metabolites
  • Opiates, including codeine, heroin, and morphine
  • Phencyclidine, or PCP
  • THC/marijuana metabolites

DOT alcohol testing uses breath and saliva samples to detect alcohol levels.

When will I be tested for drugs and alcohol under DOT rules?

If you’re in a designated safety-sensitive role, you’re subject to testing at the following times:

  • Before employment
  • Returning to duty after a violation of drug or alcohol rules
  • Follow-up after a return to duty
  • Random testing at unannounced times
  • Reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol impairment
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