Are You Given A Drug Test As Part Of A DOT Physical?

Are You Given A Drug Test As Part Of A DOT Physical?


The US Department of Transportation conducts DOT physical for the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to maintain their CMV driving license and DOT medical certificate. It includes collection of urine samples only to determine the health condition of an individual’s kidneys. This also determines their career path. Without these two certificates, a CMV driver is not considered to be fit for the role. It is more common to see CMV threatened by the DOT physical as it is associated with a drug test. The fact is that the DOT doesn’t require any drug test, but the companies mandate the drug test even if you have these two certificates to ensure safety transportation.

drug test as a part of DOT physicial

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Drug tests are becoming inevitable in all forms of life. Be it in a white collar job or a transport related job, drug tests are entangled into every selection process. In that sense, DOT is not an exception. Transportation related crime is on the rise. According to the sources, nearly 70 percent of the accidental deaths are due to consumption of drugs while driving. In this blog, we are going to discuss drug tests conducted during DOT physical, their impact, what drugs they test for and what if we refuse to take the drug test.

Does a DOT Physical Include a Drug Test?

Technically, NO. DOT does not conduct drug tests for those candidates who participate in the DOT physical, but they do collect urine samples for determining the health of their kidneys. It is the companies that require testing for drugs to ensure safety.

CMV drivers should pass the drug test as an advantage to clear the DOT test, but it is not mandatory. The companies who are going to hire you will definitely need a Drug Abuse Test to engage the drivers into their driving team. Most of the employers conduct a standard 5 panel drug test for screening employees.

What Drugs Do DOT Physical Tests Look For?

Similar to the standard drug tests, the DOT would also look for major illegal drugs that are in circulation; they include:

  1. THC
  2. COC
  3. OPI
  4. AMP and MAMP
  5. PCP

DOT mainly looks for the presence of alcohol in a candidate’s body. When it comes to alcohol, DOT can analyze the presence of the drug substance if the concentration is 0.02 or greater.

What If I Failed a DOT Drug Test?

This is the reason for fear among most of the CMV drivers. If you fail your DOT physical test, then you would be denied your CMV DOT certification. This can prohibit you from driving any CMV vehicles that can lead to the destruction of a career. If you failed the DOT drug test, then you would be sent to the Substance Abuse Professional.

As a first step, you would be removed from involving in any DOT sensitive driving jobs. If the amount of the drug is above the safety levels, you have a chance of losing your license. This purely depends upon the privacy policy of your company. As DOT do not have a specific law regarding DOT drug tests, the companies decide the fate of the drivers.

What If I Refuse To Take The DOT Drug Test?

You cannot refuse your DOT physical and associated drug test. If you do so, the DOT will consider you as positive and certain disciplinary actions will be taken similar to what a positive candidate would face. You will be removed from all the safety sensitive positions, and cannot return to the duty unless cleared and certified by the Substance Abuse Professional. Some DOT tests refuse to outline the drug abuse. These refusals are determined by the medical review officers and some of them are looked over by alcohol technicians.

Final Words

Drug abuse by CDL drivers is more threatening. With the increasing number of road accidents, the DOT testing is becoming more and more stringent in the United States. It is better to keep yourself in control, and to remain away from any illicit drugs and alcohol to pass the drug test as part of DOT physical with flying colors.

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