Depending on the field, some employees may face drug screenings more than others. For example, someone working with the Department of Transportation (DOT) may have to give samples for a DOT drug test. Meanwhile, they will complete drug tests more often than someone who works for a Non-DOT employer.

The difference between a DOT and non-DOT drug test doesn’t stop at sample collection. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how these two drug tests differ.

Non-DOT vs DOT Drug Testing

It’s important to understand the difference between non-DOT and DOT drug testing. These differences could determine where a job seeker applies and impact overall workplace safety.

1. Who Gets Tested

First, it’s important to know who is susceptible to drug testing.

DOT, for example, oversees all drug testing, and all DOT employees must be tested. This is because employees have safety-sensitive jobs that substance use can impair.

Non-DOT drug testing, however, is overseen by employers. Who gets tested is also determined by the employer, meaning that no specific duty is required to be asked for a test.

While drug testing is not required in a lot of workplaces, employers may implement policies to qualify as a drug-free workplace. If they follow state regulations and guidelines, which differ by area, then they may be able to receive fiscal benefits.

2. Regulations

DOT employees work on public roads – making their work a matter of public safety. Their jobs are also federally regulated. This makes drug testing more standardized and consistent across state lines.

In contrast, non-DOT employers only have to follow their individual state’s regulations and guidelines to qualify as a drug-free workplace. Because of this, regulations can vary from state to state.

3. Testing

As previously mentioned, DOT drug testing is standardized. Typically, it involves collecting a urine sample and employers use a 5-panel test. This means that employees are screened for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids (narcotics), and PCP.

Non-DOT employers’ tests can vary. Not only can they request a urine sample, but they may also ask an employee for a hair or saliva sampling as well. Non-DOT employers also have the benefit of using 5-panel or 10-panel tests.

10-panel tests screen for the same substances as 5-panel tests, plus an additional five: benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene, and quaaludes. 

Additionally, there are differences between each test’s collection methods. DOT collection is specific and detailed to prevent employees from finding loopholes or adulterating (contaminate) samples. Non-DOT collection can be just as rigorous, but the collection method is ultimately up to the employer. 

4. Conduct and Refusal

All factions of the DOT have specific policies that must be in place, as required by federal regulation. These include pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, return-to-duty, and follow-up drug tests.

Non-DOT employers can also have these policies in place. However, it will vary depending on state regulations and requirements.

It’s important to note that employees do have the right to refuse a drug test. But, there are consequences. For example, a DOT employee who refuses a drug screening must fully complete all requirements under the Return-to-Duty policy before returning to work. For non-DOT employees, consequences are up to the individual employer.

Also, keep in mind that both DOT and non-DOT employers have the right to terminate any employee that may refuse a drug test.

DOT Drug Testing Near Me

When a DOT employee receives notice that they have to submit a drug test, they may ask, “Where do I do a DOT drug testing near me?”

DOT has requirements for the labs and medical facilities performing a DOT drug test. So, be sure to find a DOT-certified facility. Otherwise, you cannot use your drug test at your place of employment.

Drug Testing with Soteria Screening Laboratories

At Soteria Screening Laboratories, we offer both DOT and Non-DOT testing to create and maintain a safe workplace. Contact us to learn more about our services, including our 5 and 10-panel drug screenings.

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