DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing: What You Need to Know

If your business involves any type of transportation, then you need to be familiar with DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations. Employees who operate vehicles, aircraft or other types of transportation are required to undergo regular testing for illicit substances. This blog post will cover what you need to know about DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements, including who needs to be tested and how often. We’ll also discuss what happens if an employee tests positive and how you can prepare your business for these regulations. Finally, we’ll provide some helpful resources so that you can ensure compliance with DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements.

What is DOT (Department of Transportation) drug and alcohol testing?

DOT drug and alcohol testing is a type of screening that is required for employees who operate vehicles, aircraft, or other types of transportation. These tests are designed to detect the presence of illicit substances in the body. Employees who are found to have drugs or alcohol in their system may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination from employment.

Who needs to be tested, and how often are they tested?

All employees who operate vehicles, aircraft, or other types of transportation must undergo DOT drug and alcohol testing. Testing must be conducted at least once per year for each employee. In addition, random testing must be conducted on a percentage of employees each year. The percentage of employees tested each year will depend on the size of your company and the type of transportation being operated.

What happens if an employee tests positive for drugs or alcohol?

If an employee tests positive for drugs or alcohol, they may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment. Additionally, they may be required to undergo treatment or counseling before being allowed to return to work.

How can you prepare your business for DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements?

There are a few steps you can take to prepare your business for DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements:

1) Familiarize yourself with the regulations – take some time to read through the DOT’s regulations on drug and alcohol testing so that you know what is required of your business.

2) Choose a qualified provider – when it comes time to actually conduct the tests, it’s important that you choose a qualified provider who can accurately administer the tests and properly interpret the results.

3) Develop policies and procedures – develop internal policies and procedures for conducting the tests (e.g., who will administer the test, where will it be administered, etc.) as well as what will happen if an employee tests positive (e.g., disciplinary action, referral for treatment, etc.).

4) Train your employees – make sure all employees who are subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing are aware of the requirements and know what is expected of them. Conducting periodic training sessions can help ensure that everyone is on the same page.

5) Keep records – keep accurate records of all tests that are conducted so that you can prove compliance if necessary.

Taking these steps can help ensure that your business is prepared for DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements.

Are you required to conduct DOT drug and alcohol testing for your employees? If so, it’s important that you understand the requirements and take steps to ensure compliance. No matter the reason, whether it’s DOT, Company, or Customer driven, IPE Screening in Springfield can provide a program that meets your needs.

Take a Dry Weekend – DOT Consortium

Keep updated with IPE Screening DOT Consortium/TPA.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month.  The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence recommends having a Prohibition weekend – No alcohol or drugs from Friday through Monday. At the end of the weekend, you evaluate how difficult it was to go without any alcohol or drugs.  Did you have headaches and trouble sleeping over the weekend? Any sweating or nausea? Possibly not make it all the way through the weekend without drinking or popping pills?  If the “dry weekend” was a challenge, you might have a dependence issue.  

Link Between Alcohol and Drugs

Studies have shown that people who are dependent on alcohol are likely to also use drugs.  The reverse is also true, people with drug dependence are prone to drinking. This is not all that surprising since they are both addiction issues.

It is not unusual for people to have a drink after a hard day at work to unwind and relax. A nice glass of wine or an ice-cold beer, especially on a hot day.  A lot of people get together and drink socially on the weekends or for special occasions. There are lots of responsible ways to enjoy alcohol. 

Unfortunately, a lot of people use drugs and alcohol to escape their problems and deal with stress.  The Covid pandemic and resulting controlling measures that were put into place to try to deal with the virus caused a spike in drug overdoses.  The number of people using drugs and alcohol to excess in an effort to cope rose dramatically. Deaths from drug overdoses also rose over the last two years.  


The problem with abusing drugs and alcohol is that it doesn’t just affect the person doing the abusing.  If it is a parent of children still at home, there can be physical abuse when they lose their temper.  Maybe “just” neglect because they can’t provide the necessary care because they are too wasted to care for the children. Mental abuse and neglect. Addiction is the gift that just keeps on giving…misery. 

Employment is usually a challenge for the addicted.  Some can control their drinking and drug use until after working hours, others cannot. They are usually fired for getting caught using/drinking on the job, missing too many days of work (from calling out due to hangovers), or being unable to get along with co-workers/management.

The liability of having an employee who is addicted to drugs or alcohol should be of great concern to an employer. Even if they are not actively using while on the job, their judgment and reflexes can still be impaired the next day depending on the severity of the usage the night before.  Did they get enough sleep? Do they smell like a brewery? Are there still drugs in their system? They can damage equipment, get themselves hurt, or worse, hurt someone else. As their employer, you would be liable for their actions while they are at work. 

How to Protect Your Company?  

If your company deals with the Department of Transportation (DOT), you are already familiar with the DOT Drug Testing requirement. You must have a system in place for conducting random drug testing on a set schedule and documenting everything.  Depending upon the size of your operation, that can be expensive and quite an administrative headache.  

Even if your business doesn’t employ CDL drivers or deal with the DOT, implementing a program like the DOT Consortium Drug TPA for your company is a good insurance policy. Having a pre-hiring drug screening policy can save you headaches later on.  Rather than deal with the fallout of an employee on drugs, wouldn’t it be better to have not hired them in the first place? Also, having a random testing policy in place gives you the option to catch things as they pop up.

But you are busy running your company and don’t have time to deal with all the scheduling, testing, and tracking. That is where a DOT Drug Testing Consortium comes into play.  An independent lab, like IPE Screening, administers the program for you. No matter what type of testing you need to do, IPE Screening can help you administer your program and control your costs. More information is available here or give IPE Screening a call at 417-881-2522.

DOT Consortium/TPA in Springfield, Mo

Does your business work with DOT?  Are you required to comply with DOT/FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Testing rules and regulations? IPE Screening is your go-to DOT Consortium/TPA in Springfield, Mo. with over 4,000 collectors across the United States.

Anything involving compliance with a governmental organization is going to be time-consuming, involves lots of paperwork, and penalties for not doing everything just right.  What a headache!  I bet sometimes you just want to throw your hands up and say “Forget it!”  There is a way out of this nightmare.  By using a Consortium/Third-Party Administrator (C/TPA), you can outsource all that red tape, ensure you are in compliance and get back all that time you are spending trying to make sure all the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted. 

If your business is required to be compliant with DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40, Part 382, Part 383 (CDL License), Part 391 (Driver Qualifications), and Part 392 (Driving Commercial Motor Vehicles), you should consider using a Consortium/Third-Party Administrator to help design and administer a random drug and alcohol testing policy.  Especially if your business is not large enough to self-administer the random drug and alcohol tests.  In addition to actually administering the test itself, the C/TPA will be well versed in all the responsibilities and requirements of the rules and regulations with which you are required to be compliant.

Because the DOT ultimately holds the employer responsible for the actions of all representatives, company officials, and agents (this includes service agents), it is important who you choose to be your Consortium/Third-Party Administrator.  IPE Screening, whose main office is located in Springfield, Mo., is ready to be your trusted C/TPA.  We are thoroughly versed in the DOT rules and regulations and what is expected of you as an employer to be in compliance.   We are confident after you research your options you will end up back here at IPE Screening ready to have us help you with your random drug and alcohol testing program.

Whatever the size of your fleet, whether it is just you or you have a whole crew of drivers, IPE Screening should be your C/TPA.  If you don’t already have a DOT-approved testing procedure in place, we will develop one for you.  We will take care of all the random scheduling, testing, and documentation necessary to keep your business compliant with all the DOT regulations surrounding this aspect of safety.  Be sure to protect your business by selecting the right partner.   You can concentrate on running your business knowing you don’t have to worry about DOT non-compliance because IPE Screening has it under control.

Call 417-881-2522 or email to set up Consortium/TPA services.

Proud Member of NDASA