Florida has some of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, and is a destination spot for many people looking to enjoy its beaches, lakes, and fabulous weather. While tourism is the main economic driver for the state, it’s also driven in large part by its transportation industry. 2020 data from the Federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) showed that Florida had over 123,000 miles of road.
For many in the transportation industry, their routes and daily activities take them along these stretches of road. Not surprisingly, because there is such activity on the road, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) sets regulations that govern the safe transport and usage of the road. One of their biggest regulations involves their Drug and Alcohol Testing Program.
Let Fleet Drug Testing Assist You in Florida
At Fleet Drug Testing, we’re here to assist you in staying compliant with DOT regulations. Our group of experienced experts provides a wide array of drug testing solutions and programs. This involves assisting you in locating a convenient testing location in Florida, whether you’re traveling along Interstate 10 through Jacksonville and Tallahassee or Interstate 95 through Daytona Beach, Orlando, and Miami.
Contact us today to get started.
Does Every Truck Driver Need To Be Drug Tested in Florida?
Obviously, being a truck driver is a challenging yet rewarding occupation for many throughout Florida. Part of the reason it’s so challenging is that it requires long hours and focus behind the wheel of a large, heavy vehicle. Not only that, but there’s often tight deadlines and travel throughout extremely crowded interstates and other roads in Florida.
While DOT drug testing regulations apply to every truck driver in Florida, it also applies to other “safety-sensitive” employees in the transportation industry. This includes:
- Train Operators
- Air Traffic Controllers
- Construction Workers
- EMTs and Paramedics
- Nuclear Plant Workers
- Chemical Plant Operators
- Bus Drivers
- Railroad Workers
- Forklift Operators
- Firefighters or police officers that operate vehicles or equipment
- Maritime Workers
These testing rules apply to various employees in transportation, and the DOT specifies when drug tests are needed. Drug testing is required in the following situations:
- Pre-employment, which occurs prior to being hired
- After an accident where there is damage or injuries
- Random intervals
- Reasonable suspicion, which occurs if a supervisor or leadership believes there is a reason to test the employee
- Return-to-duty, which occurs when the employee has either been injured or has previously tested positive
DOT drug tests look for specific drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP).
Sometimes, employees are tested for alcohol, especially after an accident. Just keep in mind, there are specific rules for people taking the tests and for employers, labs, Medical Review Officers (MROs), and others who are part of the process.
What is the DOT’s Testing Process in Florida?
While being subjected to a drug test can be somewhat stressful, especially as a driver or other employee whose livelihood depends on your results, the actual process for taking a test is also regulated by the DOT.
Further, the process is the same throughout the country, meaning a compliant drug testing location in Florida will undergo the same process as any other you’ll find nationwide. Still, it’s important to understand how the process works. Usually, a DOT-compliant drug test will proceed as follows:
- You or other employees are provided with information about the drug testing procedure, including the test’s timing and location.
- A trained collector at the testing facility collects a urine or saliva sample from you. They carefully label and seal the sample to prevent tampering.
- The collected sample is split into two containers: the primary and split specimens. The primary specimen is sent to a certified laboratory for analysis, while the split specimen is retained at the collection site in case of result discrepancies.
- At the certified laboratory, the primary specimen undergoes immunoassay testing. If the result is positive for drugs, a more accurate test called gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is conducted to confirm the result.
- A Medical Review Officer (MRO) carefully reviews the test results and contacts you if the result is positive. During this conversation, the MRO asks about any prescription medications you might be taking that could affect the results. If there’s a valid medical explanation, the result is reported as negative.
- The MRO informs you about the test results. If it’s a positive result, you must be taken off safety-sensitive duties immediately, and your employer might need to report the positive outcome to the DOT.
- If you test positive, you must undergo a substance abuse evaluation and participate in follow-up testing. You’ll need a negative result on a return-to-duty test before they can resume their safety-sensitive duties.
Following these steps ensures accurate and regulation-compliant drug testing in Florida. However, it’s important to know what to consider when choosing a testing location, especially if you own and operate your own vehicle.
What Should Owner-Operators Look For in Florida Drug Testing Locations?
Whether you own and operate your own vehicle or are a safety-sensitive employee for a larger transportation company, complying with DOT regulations is essential to your ability to keep working. Because this is so important, it’s vital that you take every measure you can to ensure you’re complying with these regulations.
One of the most important ways to do this is to find a compliant testing location that’s convenient for you. It’s here that our team at Fleet Drug Testing can help. We have a network of certified testing locations and have a number of programs that can make following these regulations easier on you. That said, if you’re looking for a testing location, you should consider the following:
- Make sure the facility holds SAMHSA certification and fully complies with DOT drug testing requisites in Florida.
- Opt for a facility with a wealth of experience in conducting various types of drug tests, including DOT drug tests.
- Validate the facility’s reliability through online reviews and seek recommendations from others who have used their services.
- Find a conveniently located facility that is easily accessible, ideally situated near your workplace or daily route.
- Choose a facility well-versed in the DOT-mandated testing methods, which can include urine or saliva testing.
- Make sure of the facility’s ability to provide test results within a turnaround time that suits your requirements.
- You’ll want to pick a facility that places a premium on privacy and implement measures to safeguard the confidentiality of test results.
Get Started With Fleet Drug Testing Today
When you’re on the road, you have a lot of different things to worry about. One thing that you shouldn’t have to worry about is whether or not you’re able to find a place to get drug tested. At Fleet Drug Testing, we can ease this burden by helping you find several conveniently located testing facilities along your route in Florida. By working with our team, we can make sure you keep moving. Contact us today to get started.