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What To Expect In a DOT Drug and Alcohol Test

06/11/2021 10:43

If you are a truck driver with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you’re likely already aware of the frequently required Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol tests. But if you’re new to truck driving and haven’t yet had one, these types of tests can feel quite intimidating. Are you feeling a little nervous or unprepared? This guide will help you know what to expect in a DOT drug and alcohol test.

What’s Tested For?

In most cases, a drug test distributed by the DOT will be a five-panel test that will detect the presence of the following substances in a sample:

  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Amphetamines and methamphetamines
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

A DOT alcohol test will detect alcohol levels of 0.02 percent or greater in a sample, and a driver with BAC levels of 0.04 percent or more would be considered intoxicated. It’s important to note that this limit is lower than that of a non-commercial driver. The presence of any of the five listed substances or a higher than 0.04 percent alcohol level in the sample will result in a failed drug and alcohol test.

The Testing Process

While the sample type may vary, a DOT drug and alcohol test is usually a urine test. On rare occasions, a hair, saliva, or different type of sample may be used. Before your test, your test provider may ask you to empty your pockets or take off any excess articles of clothing, such as sweatshirts. For a urine test, you'll be instructed to provide a sample in a small container, then return it to the professional conducting your test. Often, the professional will check the sample to ensure it hasn’t been tampered with.

How To Prepare

Before going in for a drug and alcohol test, it’s important to know what to expect in a DOT drug and alcohol test and be prepared. You won’t need to bring many materials with you to the testing facility—just a photo ID, such as your driver’s license. First, find out what kind of sample you’ll need to provide. If your test will require a urine sample, be sure to drink enough water prior to the test—but not too much, as that could result in diluting the drug test. Be sure to inform your test provider of any medications you’re taking that may affect the test. Aside from these steps, there’s not much you need to do to prepare—just be ready to provide a sample and any additional information the testing center requires.

If managing your drug and alcohol tests alone feels overwhelming to you, a DOT drug and alcohol testing consortium like Labworks USA is here to help. Contact us for more information about how we can help you stay DOT compliant in your company’s drug and alcohol testing.

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