Georgia Drug Testing Laws 2022: Everything We Know

Georgia Drug Testing Laws 2022: Everything We Know


The State of Georgia Drug Testing Law defines prescribed circumstances in which a person may be required to submit a 5-panel drug test for illegal substances. The law also prescribes an employer's procedures before requiring an employee or prospective employee to submit to a test for illegal substances. 

Georgia Drug testing Laws are extensive and are only one of many state laws that govern the drug testing profession. Georgia is considered to be a leading state in child protection laws. Georgia's child protective services drug Testing laws are regulated by the Department of Human Resources. 

The laws are extensive and encompass various agencies, practices, and methods for issuing exceptions for drug testing. However, as time goes by, the laws and enforcement change. 

To understand Georgia's Drug Testing Laws, one must first understand the purpose behind the law. In most states, drug testing in Georgia is used for several reasons. Some are used for business performance and productivity, others for criminal investigations such as DUIs, and, most importantly, workers' compensation issues. 

So, let's dig a little deeper into the Georgia Drug Testing Law and see what it lays out for employers, employees, and applicants.

Table Of Contents:

CPS/Child Protective Services Drug Testing Laws In Georgia

Georgia's family services drug Testing laws are considered one of the strictest in the country. Georgia's overall objective is to protect its most precious resource- “children.” The Department of Human Resources is the primary agency that governs CPS in Georgia. 

CPS's main focus is on the safety and well-being of children. CPS conducts investigations on allegations of child abuse, including physical and sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, and allegations of parental drug use. 

As per studies, children with drug problems are usually children exposed to drugs early. As a result, the Department of Human Resources has created strict regulations for drug testing. 

The Department has defined a process that must be followed to establish a solid foundation for drug testing. However, the following are examples of possible situations that initiate a drug test:

  1. The parent is alleged to have used drugs, sold drugs, or participated in the sale of drugs.
  2. A family member tells someone they saw the parent with drugs or using drugs.
  3. The parent is arrested for possessing or selling illegal drugs.
  4. The child tells someone that they have seen their parent using illegal drugs.
  5. While visiting the parent, a child complains that they have seen the parent using drugs.
  6. A family member believes that a parent may be an addict.

The law states that a substance abuse professional can screen the entire family if they suspect a substance use problem.

How Does The CPS Drug Test Work In Georgia?

CPS drug testing in Georgia goes through two phases, as follows:

  • First, there is an investigation phase. This phase is where investigations on allegations of child abuse and neglect are conducted by social workers and law enforcement agencies in Georgia. 

The objective is to collect evidence and information on child abuse and neglect and parental drug use accusations. The CPS laws in Georgia are stringent, even in the investigation phase. To show a child abuse issue, a child must be physically injured or harmed, and there must be evidence that the parent was responsible for the injury or harm.  

  • Second, there is an assessment phase where all of the information collected during the investigation is reviewed. Once it has been reviewed, a determination for drug testing is made. In Georgia, if abuse or neglect is found, evidence from the investigation will be used to demonstrate parental drug abuse and that drugs affect or have affected a child's well-being. 
  • Drug testing ensures that children are safe and in a healthy environment. It is to give the parents a chance to get help with their drug problem, not only for themselves but also for their children. In Georgia, drug testing is used more like a rehabilitation tool to help parents understand their drug problem better. The objective of CPS is not to punish the parent but rather to rehabilitate them and allow them to save their children from further abuse or neglect. 
  • After an incident has occurred and CPS has conducted their investigation and determined that the allegation of abuse or neglect is valid, drug testing is done. The goal of the screening is to determine what type of drugs the child or suspect was exposed to. 

However, if a report alleges substance abuse by a parent or legal guardian, CPS must first determine what substances the parent or legal guardian has been abusing. 

Once the type of drug is determined, then a substance abuse professional will screen the individual and their family members to determine if there is a substance use disorder problem and if there has been any harm caused to the child that could be associated with parental involvement drug use. 

According to the law, certain drugs such as MMJ and their derivatives are classified as "gateway" drugs.  These drugs are thought to lead to more serious drug use by those exposed or who have tried the drug. Therefore, the law requires additional testing to determine the extent of exposure.

What Type Of Drug Tests Does CPS Use In Georgia?

The Department of Human Resources is in charge of these laws and uses specific guidelines for CPS drug testing. There are two significant types of drug tests used by CPS to screen children as well as adults:

  • Urine screen tests:  This is used when there is an allegation of a substance abuse issue. When a child is involved in an incident that causes a report from CPS, a urine screen test will be administered to the child. 
  • Hair analysis tests: This test is generally used by CPS to screen adults that they suspect of having a substance abuse problem. Hair analysis is considered a very accurate test to determine drug use.

However, the drug test must be random with no specific time or reason, and it must also be unannounced. In addition, the test must be completed within 24 hours of the request. If the parent does not follow through or refuses to cooperate, then CPS is granted the ability to schedule another test for approval. 

If the final test is positive for MMJ, a parent or legal guardian may be required to participate in a drug monitoring program with random urine testing.

The Best Option For CPS Hair Follicle Drug Test In Georgia

Uritox Hair Strand Drug Test is the best hair follicle drug test available in Georgia. It helps to detect drug use for up to 90 days. Uritox hair strand drug test is an easy-to-use local test that can be done by yourself in the comfort of your home and can be completed within minutes. 

Uritox hair strand drug tests have been used in thousands of businesses, government agencies, and courts all over Georgia for years and have a proven track record. It has 5-10 times higher detection than other drug test systems so that it will show positive results in a fraction of the time compared to other drug testing systems. 

The Uritox hair strand drug tests are also very accurate, which means that the results will be provided with very little room for error or misinterpretation. If you want to get the best hair follicle drug test kits available in Georgia, consider using our Uritox hair strand test kits. 

This hair follicle drug test is lab-certified and gives you the ability to follow up with results from an accredited laboratory. Uritox hair strand drug test kits are also sold at a very affordable price. 

It can test for drug metabolites like Fentanyl, Suboxone, Methadone, Tramadol, and Ketamine (17-Panel Hair Test). Conduct your hair follicle test at your nearest hair drug test center and instantly get your results.

Newborn Drug Testing Laws In Georgia

Newly born infants can be subjected to drug testing in Georgia, even before being discharged from a hospital. The purpose of testing infants and toddlers is to establish a baseline for the child's development and health and determine what medications the child may be receiving at the time of testing. 

Certain pain medications like codeine, oxycodone, and morphine may be detected in a newborn's system after birth. Newborn drug testing laws in Georgia are also intended to help prevent parents' abuse of prescription painkillers and the misuse without a physician's prescription. 

These drugs have been involved with numerous deaths in Georgia and other states, so it is highly recommended that doctors and nurses are aware of new laws before administering them to newborns.

As per studies, newborns exposed to opioids due to prenatal exposure have tripled over the past ten years, with nearly 5% of mothers testing positive for opioid use during pregnancy in 2012.

However, different hospitals in Georgia may have different policies for newborn drug testing. Some hospitals may only test if there is a suspicion of drug use, while some hospitals may test all newborns without consent. 

Medical professionals should always ask patients admitted to the hospital if they have any history of drug abuse or substance abuse before starting any testing on a newborn. Therefore, it is crucial to find out what the hospital policy is in advance when seeking out information regarding the testing of newborns by a hospital or medical organization.

Pre-Employment Drug Testing Laws In Georgia

The Georgia Legislature has enacted an employer pre-employment drug testing law, but the law only applies to employers with more than ten employees. If you are employed at a store or restaurant with fewer than ten employees, the law might not apply to you. 

As long as you're doing business in the state without any employees, you don't have to follow Georgia's pre-employment drug testing law. Georgia's Pre-employment drug testing law mainly applies to the following:

  • State government employees
  • Public schools and companies that furnish school transportation (this is mostly applicable to bus drivers and substitute bus drivers.)
  • Certain safety-sensitive positions for transportation companies, such as pilots, train engineers, and truck drivers
  • Private employers that contract with the state government or with the city of Atlanta for services

Georgia employers that hire one of these employees must tell them about Georgia's pre-employment drug testing law on their job application. The law requires them to ask you if you agree to be tested before being offered a job. Additionally, in case of a positive test result, an employer must tell about employees’ right to have a second or confirmatory test performed within five days or the right to appeal the second test results. And if there are other people involved in the hiring process, such as an agent or a recruiter, they must also follow these procedures. 

However, if an employee refuses to take a drug test, the employer isn't required to hire that person.

Do Teachers Get Drug Tested In Georgia?

Teachers in Georgia are not required to be tested for drugs; only school bus drivers have to do so. However, in the case of a complaint, reasonable suspicion of drug use, or an accident, a school system can test its teachers. 

In Georgia, the school district can order up to two drug tests per year for any staff member. If a teacher abuses a controlled substance, the management must remove the staff from the classroom at once. 

In addition, the drug test conducted usually involves urine samples to test for drugs such as MMJ, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and opioids (both heroin and prescription pain relievers). 

Moreover, it's common to get a background check before hiring new employees, and all teachers are required to clear a drug test at some point in their careers. It is an ongoing process that allows the school district to monitor each teacher's progress in hopes that they might become addicted to drugs. 

Eventually, if a teacher fails or refuses the drug test twice, they will no longer teach.

Top 10 Companies And Agencies That Drug Test In Georgia

  1. Johnson Control Inc. is an American multinational that produces fire, HVAC, and security equipment for buildings. It drug tests its employees by testing hair and urine samples.
  2. Harvey's supermarket: It is a popular and well-known supermarket that drug tests its employees in Georgia. It usually conducts pre-employment drug testing and random drug tests on employees.
  3. Walmart: It is one of America's biggest retailers and is one of the companies that drug tests its employees at all of its locations.
  4. Delta Air Lines: It is one of the largest airlines in the United States, operating over 6,000 flights every day. It often drug tests its employees in Georgia.
  5. Pfizer Global Manufacturing: A global pharmaceutical company manufactures drugs for human and animal use. It uses urine samples to drug test its employees.
  6. Best Buy: It is one of America's biggest off-price retailers, which also has stores in other countries. All of its employees undergo pre-employment drug testing in Georgia.
  7. Krispy Kreme: It is a popular American doughnut and coffee chain which carries out urine testing for its employees in Georgia.
  8. Coca-Cola: It is one of America's biggest soft drink companies and is known for its famous brand Coca-Cola. It tests all of its employees for drugs at all of its locations.
  9. Ikea: It is a Swedish furniture retailer known for its quirky, high-level, and well-designed products. It often conducts random drug testing on its employees in Georgia.
  10. Target: It is one of America's biggest retail chains which conducts pre-employment drug testing for all of its employees. It also conducts random drug testing on employees.

Top 10 Jobs In Georgia That Don't Drug Test

Georgia has a 5% unemployment rate, which is average for the United States. The labor force for Georgia is about 3.65 million people, and most of the jobs in this state are service sector jobs that do not require a college degree. 

Some good jobs in Georgia do not require drug tests, but it may be hard to get hired without one. Below are some of the common jobs in Georgia that do not drug test their employees, but others are too.

  1. Traffic Control Flagger: Traffic control flagger employees are responsible for controlling the flow of traffic around dangerous areas and incidents such as accidents. These workers are not required drug and alcohol testing for their job.
  2. Client Technical Support: Georgia's technical support jobs don't require drug and alcohol tests, but they need basic qualifications such as a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  3. Holiday Warehouse Associate:  As a holiday warehouse associate, you will be responsible for loading and unloading boxes from trailers and packing holiday orders into boxes. This job doesn't require drug testing. However, most of these positions are located in warehouses and are seasonal.
  4. Forestry Technician: Georgia has a lot of outdoor jobs that do not require drug testing. Forestry technician jobs are no different, and these positions don't even need a high school diploma. 
  5. Tree Trimmer: Tree trimmers in Georgia must be at least 18 years old and have acquired their license before working in the field. However, there is no requirement for completing a drug test for this job.
  6. Delivery associate: Georgia doesn't drug test its delivery associates, but there are some requirements that you will need to meet. 
  7. Line Worker: As a line worker, you will be responsible for installing power lines in the field. You will also be working with telephone and cable lines, and you don't have to take a drug test before working in this job.
  8. Waiter: Waiters and waitresses in Georgia don't drug test their employees, but there is no denying that this is a demanding job. These workers have to stand for long periods and are on their feet most of the day.
  9. Pest Control Specialist: Pest control specialists in Georgia do not require drug testing, but they must hold a license and certificate and a high school diploma.
  10. Fuel Technician: Fuel technicians do not have to take a drug test. However, they must be very skilled in handling oil, gas, and water in the field.

What Are Employer Drug Testing Laws In Georgia?

Like any other state in the nation, Georgia has its laws regarding drug testing in the workplace. These rules are meant to protect both the employees and their employers. In Georgia, an employer receives a discount on workers' compensation insurance if they drug test employees within a certain amount of time.  

Employers who establish a drug-free workplace are eligible for the insurance claim discount in the workers' comp. However, employers must follow the state's rules to get their discount. In Georgia, employers must test in certain situations and follow procedures intended to protect employee and applicant rights. 

The federal government requires drug tests carried by employers in a few safety-sensitive industries (including transportation, aviation, and contractors with NASA and the Department of Defense); federal law doesn't otherwise require or prohibit drug tests. 

In Georgia, employers can administer drug testing in several circumstances as:

  • After an accident, if a minor drug test confirms that the employee was under the influence of a drug at the time of the accident.
  • Reasonable suspicion that the employee is drug-dependent if the employer believes that they have a history of substance abuse.
  • During a routine medical exam or physical, if the employee consents.
  • If the employee comes back to work after rehabilitation, the employer may perform another test to ensure a drug-free workplace.
  • Employers may also conduct a random test of employees who have a safety-sensitive position.

However, an employer that conducts a drug test must follow specific procedures. Before testing for drugs, employers must specify which job positions are safety-sensitive in their policy guidelines. 

They must provide employees with a written policy statement that describes their drug testing programs, including details about the type of tests conducted and their results. The policy statement must include information about the employer's procedures to ensure confidentiality and limits on test results. 

Additionally, an employee who tests positive for drugs has the right to retest or object to a test within five days following receipt of the positive test result. 

Furthermore, Georgia has enacted a law that states that employers shall not take adverse action against employees who test positive for drugs or alcohol if they have returned to work or otherwise complied with the requirements of Georgia's workers' compensation laws. 

Employers must maintain confidentiality about drug testing, except in cases involving employee negligence or in response to a subpoena issued by a court.

What Are The Consequences If You Fail A Drug Test On Probation In Georgia?

Georgia has strict probation laws. Failure to take a drug test in Georgia can violate your probation. In this case, you will most likely be taken back into custody and face consequences for breaking the law. 

If your probation officer finds out that you are abusing drugs or alcohol, your probation officer may petition the court to revoke your probation and send you to jail. 

However, you can avoid these consequences by taking the right steps to get help. On the other hand, if you accidentally fail a drug test, you can take measures to fight the results. For example, if you have a lab report to prove that you didn't use drugs or alcohol in the past few days, your probation officer will listen to your argument. 

However, if you make excuses for why you failed the drug test without providing any proof, this might result in legal problems. So, taking the proper steps is the best way to avoid these issues.


Employers in Georgia both have rights to drug testing. For example, your employer has the right to drug test you during a routine physical or as part of your application process. 

However, you also have rights in this situation. Georgia Drug testing laws are often misunderstood, but as long as you know your rights and legal responsibilities, you can keep yourself out of trouble. 

Additionally, the Child Protective Services Law in Georgia can help you stay drug-free. Also, the Georgia State Law regarding Drug Testing for those on probation is stringent and should follow to avoid consequences.

Moreover, drug testing laws are becoming more strict and comprehensive. Georgia drug testing laws can change, so you always have the latest information at hand.


How often can employers test for drugs in Georgia?

Employers might conduct drug testing when necessary for their business operations and only if the employee is in a safety-sensitive position. Employers can also request a drug test for returning employees previously terminated for testing positive for drugs. The employer can test up to 10% of the total number of employees at any given time. 

What is the first violation of Georgia's Drug Testing laws?

A first violation of the law occurs when an employee uses, possesses, manufactures, or distributes drugs in the workplace. A positive drug test will result in an automatic 30-day suspension without pay and a mandatory referral to a drug rehabilitation or treatment program.

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