Drug & Alcohol

DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing Basics

In the early 1990’s, the Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated the establishment of drug and alcohol testing requirements for safety sensitive transportation employees in all of its agencies. The FMCSA added the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse in 2020, to close many loopholes in violation reporting. ARCpoint Labs of Cincinnati East has the extensive knowledge and experience needed to help employers in Eastgate and surrounding areas implement a DOT drug and alcohol program.

Who Is Subject to DOT (FMCSA) Drug Tests?

Drivers with a CDL who operate a CMV are required to participate in a DOT testing program. An exception is when this driving occurs on private property and the vehicle does not touch public roads.

What Substances Does the DOT Test For?

The DOT routinely tests CDL drivers for alcohol and drugs that can significantly impact their driving ability, including Marijuana (THC), Cocaine, Amphetamines, Opioids, and Phencyclidine (PCP).

While required to adhere to DOT testing requirements, employers can implement higher standards, including testing for more types of drugs or using different specimen types.

What Specimen Types Are Used For DOT Testing?

Urine Drug Testing

While the DOT only allows for urine testing for drugs, saliva drug testing is in the process of being finalized as an optional testing method.

Saliva and Breath Testing

Breath and saliva testing are used to determine current alcohol impairment.

When Are DOT Tests Conducted?

Testing typically occurs before beginning employment and randomly throughout the year. Employers will also coordinate testing if there is a reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work and in specific circumstances immediately following an accident. Following a drug or alcohol violation, a driver may be required to complete a negative return to duty test.

FMCSA Clearinghouse Info

The FMCSA created a database known as the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse that tracks drug and alcohol test violations. Employer are required to utilize it to monitor safety sensitive drivers.

How Do I Register for the Clearinghouse?

Employers are required to register with the Clearinghouse, and while there is no cost to register, there is a fee to perform queries on drivers.

Upon hire, employers or their designated C/TPA will conduct a Full Pre-Employment Query which will trigger the Clearinghouse to send electronic requests for consent to the driver. Additionally, employers or their C/TPA must conduct a minimum of one Limited Annual Query.

DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing in Cincinnati

At ARCpoint Labs of Cincinnati East, we make it easy for CDL employers in Eastgate and nearby neighborhoods to make sure they adhere to the DOT's drug and alcohol testing standards. Contact us today to learn more about how our employee testing programs can benefit your company!