Does a Failed DOT Drug Test Go on Your Record?

positive DOT drug test


Since the early 1990s, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has used drug and alcohol testing to monitor safety-sensitive transportation employees. This ensures that pilots, truck drivers, mass transit operators, and other professionals operate in drug-free and alcohol-free environments. If you have recently gone through DOT drug testing and/or DOT alcohol testing, you may wonder, does a failed DOT drug test go on your record? The short answer is yes, but that does not mean you are without options. Read on to learn how failed DOT drug test results are reported.

A failed DOT drug test and/or alcohol test is entered into the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and requires you to complete the Return-to-Duty process (RTD) with a qualified DOT Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). In addition, if you refuse a DOT drug test, it is also considered a positive result and will be entered into the Clearinghouse as such. As of January 6, 2020, FMCSA drug and alcohol violations are reported to the FMCSA Clearinghouse by Employers or Medical Review Officers. If you failed a DOT drug test and/or DOT alcohol test that occurred on or after that date, the information remains in the Clearinghouse until you successfully complete the RTD process. After you complete the DOT SAP process, the employer schedules you for an observed return to duty test. The employer reports the results of the follow-up test result along with the first and last dates of your follow up testing plan. Your record stays in the Clearinghouse for five years.

Your positive DOT drug test result shows in the Clearinghouse whether you have an account or not. The information is linked to your commercial driver’s license number and issuing state. If you obtain a CDL in another state, the Clearinghouse will link your CDLs and the data connected to them. You may review your Clearinghouse record for free at any time by becoming an authorized user. Keep in mind, your prospective employer is required to check for violations with past employers as well. As a DOT safety-sensitive employee, you hold the responsibility to provide violations to your prospective employer.

Your Test Results Are Not Released without Your Written Consent

Your DOT drug test and/or alcohol test results are not accessible to the public. Only authorized users are allowed to access information in the Clearinghouse. Furthermore, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will only share drug and alcohol violations with current or prospective employers, and/or their consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA), after you provide consent. You must register in the Clearinghouse to receive this full query consent from your current or prospective employer electronically, including pre-employment queries. For limited query consents, your current employer will provide you with a written consent. Failure to provide full or limited query consents will restrict current or prospective employers from allowing you to perform safety sensitive work. Drivers registered in the Clearinghouse can view their own record at any time.

How to Return to Work after a Failed DOT Drug Test

A failed DOT drug test does not have to mark the end of your career. By completing, the RTD process through a qualified DOT SAP, you can be eligible to return to safety sensitive work again. The RTD process includes a one-on-one evaluation with a qualified DOT SAP, followed by personalized treatment or education. Upon completion, you will go through a follow-up evaluation with your SAP and the qualified DOT SAP recommends to the employer that you are eligible to for the observed return to duty DOT drug test. A negative result on the RTD DOT drug test is required to return to safety sensitive work.

American Substance Abuse Professionals, Inc. (ASAP), has a network of more than 5,000 qualified DOT SAPs throughout the United States and its territories. We match employees with a SAP near them so they can return to work as quickly as they can comply with the process. Our clients have an 85% success rate in successfully completing the SAP process to be eligible to return to safety sensitive work with our guidance. The enrollment process is quick and easy. Call 888-792-2727 x177 to enroll today. #worksafely


Do you need Substance Abuse Professional Services?

ASAP has a nationwide reach in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Our trained and knowledgeable team will assist you in understanding the process and signing up. It’s fast and easy to enroll with ASAP! 888.792.2727 x607

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