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By Author: Ron Kilgarlin
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A DOT drug test is conducted in United states by the Department of Transportation, to ensure safe work environment. These tests are conducted for public safety to check against the usage of drugs and alcohol by the employees and are regulated by the Government. A DOT drug screening and alcohol testing is stipulated by Code of Federal Regulations.

A Non- DOT drug test is not regulated by the Government and is administered on the employees by the employers authority as given by the state standards. This test also checks the usage of drugs and alcohol to ensure a work place free of drugs.

What does DOT and Non-DOT Drug Testing mean ?
A DOT drug test is conducted as a part of screening before employment, after an accident, as a random testing, when there is a suspicion or when reporting back to duty after a specific interval of time.

In a Non- DOT drug test, the employer can create a procedure to decide about the substances to be screened, the collection of specimen, the type of tests to be conducted, the forms to be used, the criteria for the violation, the consequences for the violation and who are the ...
... employees to be tested.

Pre-Employment drug test and screening
Pre- employment drug test and screening is done by a DOT drug test, where the specimen collected is almost urine samples. The adulteration of the DOT urine test is strictly prohibited wherein either the urine is diluted or soap is added in the specimen. A negative DOT test result is mandatory to join the transportation services.

In a Non- DOT drug screening, apart from urine samples, saliva and hair samples are also used for testing.

The Forms used for a DOT and a Non-DOT drug screening
The forms used for a DOT drug and alcohol test is called the Federal Drug Testing Control and Custody Form, or CCF.

In a Non- DOT drug and alcohol test the form used depends upon the employer or the drug testing company.

However a DOT drug test form CCF cannot be used for a Non-DOT drug screening, neither the Non-DOT drug test form be used for a DOT drug test and both forms are strictly not interchangeable.

DOT test for Return to Duty Process
A DOT drug and alcohol test result is required for drivers who already tested positive or who have violated the usage of prohibited drug or alcohol, to complete the Return to Duty process. An On-Site DOT drug test is conducted, a direct observation is done and a negative test result is necessary to get back to driving duty.

The Drugs Tested For in a DOT and Non-DOT Test
A DOT drug and alcohol test uses a 5-panel test which screens the sample for the following drugs namely

• Marijuana
• Cocaine
• Amphetamines
• Opioids (narcotics)
• PCP

A non-DOT drug and alcohol test may use a 10-panel test, to screen the samples which along with the drugs given above also includes, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene, & Quaaludes.

A DOT and a Non-DOT test Differences in the Collection Process
A DOT drug testing and screening follows a strict and systematic collection process which is exclusively tailored to prevent any mistakes or adulteration happening. Careful collection process is carried out and then it is given for lab analysis. Further the sample is taken to MRO verification and care is taken to avoid any errors. The set of rules and procedure can be seen in 49 CFR Part 40.

A Non-DOT drug test need not be carried out in the same manner as a DOT test, yet it is reliable and systematic. It mostly depends on the decision of employers to choose the testing process and the drug free work station policies which differ from state to state.

The CUTOFF levels for a DOT and Non-DOT Test
For a DOT drug test the cut-off levels for laboratory determination in case of positive result is stipulated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. But for a Non-DOT drug test the cut-off laws follow the criteria given by the state laws which are decided by the employer.

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