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DOT Drug Test Refusal – What are your options?

A DOT drug test can occur at many points of employment, from pre-employment to random testing and beyond. You may know what happens when you fail a DOT drug test, but what if you refuse to take it altogether? Will that cost you your job, or can you simply retake the test in the future? In this guide, we’ll discuss what happens after you refuse to take a DOT drug test.

Is a DOT Drug Test Refusal the Same as a Failed Drug Test?

In most cases, refusing to take a drug test has the same consequences as failing a drug test. Your employer must immediately remove you from safety-sensitive duties, per DOT regulations. Your employer decides whether to terminate your employment or allow you to perform some other work. However, you cannot perform any safety-sensitive responsibilities until you have completed a Return-to-Duty process.

What Is Considered a Refusal to Test?

Simply saying “no” to a DOT drug test is not the only way to refuse to test. The Department of Transportation outlines a number of scenarios that count as “refusal to test.” Here is a list of refusals:

  • Not showing up for a urine collection or alcohol test during your appointment time
  • Leaving the collection site before the test was complete
  • Not providing enough urine, saliva or breath for the drug or alcohol test
  • Refusing to give an observed urine collection (if that is what your employer requests)
  • Declining additional drug testing when requested
  • Not abiding by the steps in the urine collection process, such as emptying pockets or washing hands
  • Not cooperating during any point of the DOT drug and alcohol test
  • Wearing or possessing a prosthetic device that may carry a urine substitute or clean urine
  • Tampering with the collection
  • Admitting to falsifying the sample – i.e. telling your employer or test administrator that you tampered with the specimen B

As soon as any of these events occur, your employer must immediately remove you from all safety-sensitive duties. You must then complete the Return-to-Duty process outlined by a DOT-qualified SAP before returning to work.

How to Return to Work after You Refuse to Take a DOT Drug Test

After refusing a DOT drug test, you will need to work with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional (SAP). You will meet with your SAP face-to-face for an evaluation. From there, your SAP will provide a treatment and education plan for you to follow. Once you have completed those steps, you will have another in-person meeting to determine if you are ready to return to work. You will be required to complete a follow-up drug test before doing any safety-sensitive work.

It’s crucial to understand that the DOT has strict guidelines and procedures in place to ensure the safety of transportation systems, and compliance with drug testing is a fundamental part of these regulations. If you have concerns about the drug testing process or if you believe there is a mistake, it is advisable to discuss the situation with your employer or a legal professional to explore your options within the framework of DOT regulations and employment laws.

American Substance Abuse Professionals, Inc. has a vast network of DOT-qualified SAPs serving every state in the USA. Their clients have an 85% success rate for returning to work.

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