In 1991 DOT drug testing was first introduced through the Omnibus Transportation Testing Act. Drug screenings needed to be implemented for all of their employees. The act which was implemented required all transportation agencies to conduct drug tests for their workers. Making these drug tests uniquely regulated by the DOT.
A main reason for this step was the need to ensure the safety of the workers in the department as well as ensure smooth sailing for the agencies themselves. Dot drug testing was made a requirement in each of the government agencies connected to transportation of goods across the United States.
Under title 49 of the act were listed all of the screening rules which needed to be upheld during Dot drug testing. DOT agencies and the coast guard have been known to write regulations and procedures for their workers so this Dot drug testing is no real surprise. These regulations explain who is eligible for testing.
What is a dot drug test?
Dot drug testing is a specific screening experience connected to the Department of Transportation. Through the Omnibus Transportation Testing Act the main regulations and instructions have been implemented. Under this we can now take a look at what drugs are tested for and what to watch out for if you work in the Department.
Under these regulations the Dot drug testing experience is conducted through complex 5 panel testing cups which test for 5 different drugs at the same time. These testing devices use 5 sets of drug testing strips in order to pinpoint any and all traces of certain drugs in your urine. Testing strips are also used in other devices such as cartridges and dip cards.
The Dot 5 panel drug test is used to test for several drugs at once, here is the list of drugs the tests screens for:
- Phencyclidine – Phencyclidine drug test strips are the first to be implemented in the 5 panel dot drug testing devices.
- Marijuana metabolites or rather THC – Marijuana testing strips are implemented in the test to find traces of THC in your urine in a rapid and precise manner.
- Cocaine metabolites – Testing strips which work to find traces of cocaine are also implemented into the 5 panel dot drug testing tool.
- Amphetamines – Methamphetamines as well as MDMA are tested for by special Amp testing strips which are built into the dot drug testing device.
- Opioids – Considering the role the Opioid crisis plays in everyday lives of ordinary people, these Opioid drug test strips have been built in.
Dot and drug testing
Regulations are an effective way a government agency constructs its relationships with the wider world. The implemented regulations imposed on their workers for their safety and for the betterment of services is how the Department of Transportation has been able to impose dot drug testing and provide a smoother service.
Under these regulations several high ranking servicemen and women are required to be tested for drugs on a regular basis. Anyone who has been designated as safety sensitive by the Department is prone to dot drug testing. This includes all modes of transportation, from aviation to land and sea transport.
The Federal Aviation Administration is part of the DoT and its members are marked for dot drug testing. Due to their sensitive role in ensuring flight transportation flows safely. Flight crews, attendants, dispatchers and many other servicemen and women are prone to drug testing under the implemented regulations.
Aside from the Aviation Administration there are many more government institutions connected with transportation prone to dot drug testing. These are:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which encompasses commercial drivers which transport 16 or more passengers at any given time.
The US coast guard – Each crew operating a commercial vessel is marked for regular dot drug testing under the implemented regulations.
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration – This administration’s workers include first responders to high risk locations as well as emergency response workers. Each of these groups are also marked for drug screenings under the regulations.
Federal rail and transit administrations have also implemented dot drug testing experiences for their workers and crews especially those working on transporting 16 or more passengers, or transporting dangerous materials cross country. These regulations have been implemented to ensure the safety of both passengers, bystanders and crews alike.
Dot drug test panel
So now that we have the paperwork under wraps, when exactly are you going to be tested if you work for any of these departments and administrations? Dot drug testing is rare if you have already gotten the job, most workplaces require you to be tested when applying for the job. However it is not impossible to be surprise tested during the work year.
You can expect to be tested if the administration feels there is reasonable cause for the test to be conducted. If you have a police record or if you have been in contact with drugs which have been recorded in your medical papers. These tests are conducted before your job interviews to give employers a better picture of your personality.
Random testing during the year is based on random selection processes, each employee can be tested at any given time. Return to duty tests are important if you have been away from duty for some time and your employer wants to see how you have been holding up outside of the work environment.
Follow dot drug testing is also a possibility you could face. Once you have returned to work follow up tests are a good way for employers to keep track of your progress and keep track of your drug intake. Drug addiction is a serious danger in transportation, and these measures are in place to prevent accidents.
If you have been involved in an accident drug testing is conducted to determine if there were substances in your system which could have led to the accident. Failing these tests can lead to jail time, job loss and many other problems. The best way to ensure you keep your job is to not use drugs at least during workdays.