Our experienced team at Fleet Drug Testing offers a range of testing programs to ensure compliance with the federal Department of Transportation’s drug testing program, helping you find convenient testing locations throughout South Dakota. Whether your route is along major highways like Interstate 90 and Interstate 229 or State Route 90, stay on the road to regulatory compliance–contact Fleet Drug Testing today.
How Does the DOT Drug Testing Process Work in South Dakota?
While undergoing a drug test can be stressful, especially for those in certain positions, the process is regulated by the DOT to make sure that there’s consistent throughout the country.. Here’s a breakdown of the typical DOT-compliant drug testing process:
- Being notified – You and other employees receive details about the drug testing procedure, including timing and location.
- Getting tested – A trained collector at the testing facility gathers a urine or saliva sample, carefully labeling and sealing it to prevent tampering.
- Split samples – The collected sample is divided into primary and split specimens. The primary specimen is sent to a certified laboratory for immunoassay testing, and the split specimen is retained at the collection site for potential discrepancies.
- Laboratory analysis – The primary specimen undergoes immunoassay testing, and if positive, a more accurate test called gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is conducted for confirmation.
- Medical review – A Medical Review Officer (MRO) reviews the results, contacting you in case of a positive result. They inquire about any relevant prescription medications, and if there’s a valid medical explanation, the result is reported as negative.
- Result notifications – The MRO informs you of the test results. In the case of a positive result, you must be removed from safety-sensitive duties immediately, and your employer may need to report the outcome to the DOT.
- Follow-up procedures – If positive, you undergo a substance abuse evaluation and follow-up testing. Resuming safety-sensitive duties requires a negative result on a return-to-duty test.
When Do You Get Tested?
Not only is the drug testing procedure the same, but they occur at the same intervals and under the same conditions:
- Pre-employment, which is conducted before hiring.
- Post-accident testing is required after accidents involving damage or injuries.
- Random intervals, which occur as unannounced testing.
- Reasonable suspicion can be requested if supervisors or leadership believe there is a valid reason to test an employee.
- Return-to-duty testing is Implemented when an employee has been injured or previously tested positive.
Occasionally, alcohol testing may be included, particularly following an accident. Regardless of the circumstances, being prepared for these tests are very important to you and your overall business.
How Can You Prepare for a DOT Drug Test in South Dakota?
Facing the DOT drug testing program may seem daunting, but it’s crucial for the safety of everyone in the transportation industry and those sharing the road with these employees. As an employee, understanding the drug testing procedure and how to prepare for it is key. Here are some tips:
- Mind medications – Avoid drugs or medications that could lead to a false positive result. Inform the medical review officer (MRO) about any prescribed medications.
- Hydration – Hydration is a key aspect to the testing process, but make sure to avoid overhydration to prevent a “positive dilute” result. If providing a sample is challenging, notify the collector.
- Follow collector instructions – You’ll want to follow all instructions provided by the collector, and bring a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
- Timeliness matters – Arrive on time at the testing site. Be prepared to complete paperwork in addition to providing a urine sample.
How Accurate are DOT Drug Tests?
While you can control your end of the drug testing procedures, you may be curious as to how accurate these tests are. Not surprisingly, because the DOT has the full power of the federal government backing them, they have extensive resources to guarantee the accuracy of any drug test they give. Here’s a look at how they do it:
- Standardized procedures – DOT drug tests adhere to standardized procedures outlined by federal regulations. These procedures cover specimen collection, transportation, testing methods, and result reporting.
- Certified laboratories – Drug tests conducted under DOT regulations are processed in laboratories certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA certification ensures that the laboratories meet specific quality and accuracy standards.
- MRO review – A Medical Review Officer (MRO) plays a crucial role in the accuracy of results. The MRO reviews and verifies the test results, ensuring that they are accurate and that any legitimate medical explanations are considered.
- Testing for specific drugs – DOT drug tests focus on specific substances, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP). This targeted approach enhances the accuracy of identifying substances relevant to safety-sensitive positions.
- Quality control – Certified laboratories implementing quality control measures further contribute to the accuracy of results. These measures include calibration of equipment, proficiency testing, and adherence to stringent protocols.
Even with this commitment to accuracy, any drug test has the potential to either be wrong or at the very least inaccurate. This is especially true if you take certain doctor-prescribed medications. However, the only way to ensure compliance is to stay drug-free.
DOT Drug Testing Solutions in South Dakota
There’s no denying that being a safety-sensitive employee in South Dakota comes with several requirements. Foremost among these are the DOT’s drug testing requirements. At Fleet Drug Testing, we have the solutions you need.
Our programs guide you through the process, making sure you’re ready for the test. Prioritize safety for yourself and the public by understanding the importance of DOT drug testing. Contact us now to find a testing location near you in South Dakota.