Safety-sensitive DOT mandated employees will be asked to take a drug and/or alcohol test during their employment or pre-employment. This is to ensure that employees are drug and alcohol free, which is a requirement when working in a DOT-mandated, safety-sensitive position.
Some employees may wonder if they should refuse a DOT drug test. The answer may not be as simple as you think.
When Does the DOT Require Testing?
Employees, and applicants, must take drug and/or alcohol tests after certain accidents, for reasonable suspicion, after they complete the SAP process, and depending on the protocol outlined by their SAP, after they return to work. All new safety-sensitive employees are required to undergo testing. These tests ensure that they are not abusing or using substances before they perform safety-sensitive job functions.
Should an Employee Refuse a DOT Drug Test and/or Alcohol Test?
At times an employee may feel that they are being unfairly singled out to take a random DOT drug and/or alcohol test. Alternatively, they may be aware that they are going to fail and wonder if they should refuse the test. The US Department of Transportation recommends that you always “comply, then complain.” Even if you don’t agree with the test, it is in your best interest to take it. A refusal to take the drug and/or alcohol test is treated the same as a positive result, so it is not recommended that you refuse testing.
Consequences of a Failed or Refused Drug and/or Alcohol Test?
If a safety-sensitive DOT mandated employee fails or chooses to refuse a DOT drug or alcohol test, they will be removed from performing their safety-sensitive functions until they complete the SAP process. The suspension remains in effect until:
• The employee undergoes an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)
• Successful compliance of education and/or treatment outlined by their SAP.
• A follow up evaluation by the same SAP to determine compliance with their recommendation.
• Breath and/or urine specimen has tested negative for drugs and/or alcohol.