Q. Can an employer do an instant drug screen on a DOT employee at the same time as the DOT urine collection that is sent to the lab so they know the results immediately?
A. The short answer is no. DOT regulation 49 CFR 40.13discusses how DOT drug and alcohol tests relate to non-DOT tests. There is currently no provision in the DOT regulations for an employer to conduct an instant test, so by definition an instant test is a non-DOT test. Section 40.13 (a) states “DOT tests must be completely separate from non-DOT tests in all respects.”
Q. Can an employer do a ten panel drug screen instead of a five panel drug screen?
A. If the test is a non-DOT test the answer is yes. An employer conducting non-DOT testing may create their own drug testing policy. Unless state regulations specifically prohibit it, that policy may permit a ten-panel test, and the policy may allow the use of instant tests in addition to laboratory tests.
However, if the employer is conducting a DOT test the answer is no. Referring again to 49 CFR 40.13 (c), “you must not perform any tests on DOT urine or breath specimens other than those specifically authorized by this part or DOT agency regulations. For example, you may not test a DOT urine specimen for additional drugs…” Currently DOT regulations permit only a five-panel test.
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