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In the United States, Employers must be aware of employment drug testing that has two types: DOT/non-DOT drug testing. The main purpose of these drug tests is to make a drug-free place and avoid harmful events linked with drug abuse. Safety-sensitive workplaces such as transportation-related jobs are at higher risk due to direct contact with public roads, so getting employees tested for illicit drugs is a crucial practice.

After reading the article you will be able to understand:

What is DOT drug testing?

What is Non-DOT drug testing?

DOT drug test vs. Non-DOT drug test

Types of drugs detected in drug screen

What is DOT drug testing?

DOT drug testing is federally regulated by the Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admission (FMSCA) in the United States. The DOT test program set some rules regarding the method and frequency of alcohol and drug testing.

See related blog:

How Frequently Random Testing Required?

What is Non-DOT drug testing?

Non-drug testing is not federally mandated but employers themselves make their workplace drug-use policy. Non-DOT drug testing is authorized completely by employers to lower the number of absentees, increase the productivity of their employees, and reduce workplace injuries.

DOT drug test vs. Non-DOT drug test

Following is the comparison between DOT Drug Test and the Non-DOT drug test:

DOT drug & alcohol test Non-DOT drug Test
Needed by DOT-regulated employers Not required, Authorized by employer
SAMHSA-certified labs mandatory Using a SAMHSA-certified lab, for best results
DOT 5-panel drug test is required No limitations on panel drug test
Requirement of Alcohol test Alcohol test is optional
Random Drug test needed Not required, but can be best practice
Need of Substance Abuser Professional (SAP) Employee Assistance Program(EAP)
Return to duty(RTD) process is mandatory RTD process is optional
A complete record is required by the DOT program Keeping records is employer’s choice

Types of drugs detected in a drug screen

The DOT drug test screens for five categories of drugs, known as the "SAMHSA-5" or 5-panel drug test. These drugs are:

Whereas, employers can customize their drug panels: 5-panel- 10-panel, and 12-panel drug tests based on the choice of drug they want to test their employees for including benzodiazepines, barbiturates, extended opiates, etc.

Bottom Line

DOT drug and alcohol testing is only subjected to DOT-covered employees/companies whereas non-DOT includes employers who are concerned to make their workplace drug-free, so it is important to understand the difference between both.

Implementing alcohol and drug testing programs not only improves employee productivity and reduces absenteeism, but also saves companies from heavy violation penalties leading to higher profits and a more successful business.

Locate a Drug Test Center near You

goMDnow, as a third-party administrator, provides you with hassle-free DOT/non-DOT drug testing services while working with SAMHSA-certified labs to provide accurate results. Whether you are looking for a DOT drug test or an employer looking for an instant drug test, we got you covered with over 20,000 drug testing centers nationwide!

We also provide the lowest price DOT consortium with the maximum quality benefits.

Call 980-202-1466 and let’s get started.

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