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Understanding Non-DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs

By Andrew David Easler, Esq.

When it comes to DOT-related companies, the federal government sets very strict standards in the way of drug and alcohol training and testing. How do non-DOT drug and alcohol testing program requirements vary from those, though? Actually, there are several key differences that apply to non-DOT companies. If your firm is not involved in transportation, then you must follow different rules.

Company Policy

The only real rule mandated by the federal government in regards to non-DOT companies and drug and/or alcohol use is that your firm must create a companywide policy that spells out its stance on the use of drugs and alcohol by your employees. This policy can only apply to alcohol use during “company time”. It cannot regulate your employees’ use of alcohol during their personal time, as alcohol is not an illegal substance. However, you can include wording that dictates drug use during personal and work time for your employees (at least in the area of illicit drugs).

At the bare minimum, your company policy must state who is subject to alcohol testing, when consumption of alcohol (or being under the influence) is prohibited, what happens when someone tests positive for alcohol use on the job, and when testing will occur.

Testing Differences

When it comes to non-DOT drug and alcohol testing program requirements, you’ll find that non-DOT companies have a wider range of testing formats available to them. For instance, non-DOT companies are prohibited from using CCF and ATF testing forms in testing programs (these are reserved for DOT companies specifically).

There are a few other key differences as well, as spelled out by the federal government. These include the following:

• Non-DOT testing cannot supersede the results from DOT testing
• DOT drug and alcohol tests must be taken completely separately from non-DOT tests
• DOT tests take priority over non-DOT tests
• DOT test results cannot be changed or disregarded

Non-DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Program Requirements

There are several requirements when it comes to non-DOT testing requirements. First, random testing must occur at a rate of roughly 10% of your employees per year, and it should be spread out evenly over the course of the year. Post-accident testing is also very important, as is reasonable suspicion testing (testing for drugs or alcohol if a supervisor has reasonable suspicion that someone is using or is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol while on the job).

Adhering to these requirements will ensure that your company complies with national drug and alcohol testing regulations.

The information on this page may have changed since we first published it. We give great legal advice, but this page (and the rest of our site) is for informational use only and is no substitute for actual legal advice. If you’d like to establish an attorney-client relationship, reach out to us and we’ll tell you how we can make it official. Sending us an email or reading this page alone doesn’t mean we represent you.
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