US Department of Transportation Alcohol and Drug Testing

Random Drug and Alcohol Testing


People who work in the transportation industry are subject to random alcohol and drug testing and must comply to Federal rules and regulations.

The US Department of Transportation Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance requires drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees in aviation, trucking, railroads, mass transit, pipelines and other transportation industries. DOT publishes rules on who must conduct drug and alcohol tests, how to conduct those tests and what procedures to use when testing. These regulations cover all transportation employers, safety-sensitive transportation employees and service agents -roughly 12.1 million people.

IF you test positive, refuse a test or violate DOT alcohol and drug rules:

A supervisor or company official will immediately remove you from DOT-regulated safety-sensitive functions.

You will not be permitted to return to performing DOT regulated safety-sensitive duties until you have:

  • Undergone an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)
  • Successfully completed any education, counseling or treatment
    prescribed by the SAP prior to returning to service;
  • Provided a negative test result for drugs and a breath test less than 0.02 of alcohol

Upon return to a safety-sensitive job, you will be subject to unannounced testing for drugs and/or alcohol no less than 6 times during the first 12 months of active service with the possibility of unannounced testing for up to 60 months, as prescribed by the SAP.

What are SAPs?

Under DOT regulations, SAPs are Substance Abuse Professionals. They play a critical role in the work place testing program by professionally evaluating employees who have violated DOT drug & Alcohol rules. SAPs recommend appropriate education, treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare. They are the gate-keepers to the re-entry program by determining when a safety-sensitive employee can be returned to duty.

How do I find a SAP?

There are several resources to finding a SAP. If you violate a DOT drug or alcohol rule, your employer is required to provide you with a list of SAP names, addresses and phone numbers that are available to you and acceptable to them. You can also search then internet or check your yellow pages for any SAP listings.