DOT Testing

The Alcohol and Drug Testing Service, Inc. provides a program designed
to comply with DOT Regulations 49 CFR Part 40.

The TADTS Program

  • Customized Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy
  • Membership in DOT random testing consortium or individual selections
  • 5 Panel DOT Drug and Breath Alcohol Testing
  • Drug testing includes specimen collection, initial lab test and GC/MS confirmation
  • TX/US D.O.T. Physicals
  • Random selections and notifications – quarterly
  • Nationwide collection site network
  • Toll free number for 24 Hour Post Accident Testing
  • Consultation and administrative support
  • Supervisor Training
  • Substance Abuse Professional Referrals
  • Previous employer Drug/Alcohol verification forms
  • Customized chain of custody forms
  • Certified Medical Review Officer reporting of results via secured fax, email or online WebResults®
  • Competitive pricing

DOT drug tests are conducted only using urine specimens. The urine specimens are analyzed for the following  5 primary drugs/metabolites:

  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
    • Amphetamine
    • Methamphetamine
    • MDMA
    • MDA
  • Opioids
    • Codeine
    • Morphine
    • 6-AM (heroin)
    • Hydrocodone
    • Hydromorphone
    • Oxycodone
    • Oxymorphone
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)


§ 40.87 What are the cutoff concentrations for drug tests?

(a) As a laboratory, you must use the cutoff concentrations displayed in the following table for initial and confirmatory drug tests. All cutoff concentrations are expressed in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). The table follows:

Initial test analyteInitial test cutoff1Confirmatory test analyteConfirmatory test cutoff concentration
Marijuana metabolites (THCA)250 ng/mL3THCA15 ng/mL.
Cocaine metabolite (Benzoylecgonine)150 ng/mL3Benzoylecgonine100 ng/mL.
2000 ng/mLCodeine
2000 ng/mL.
2000 ng/mL.
300 ng/mLHydrocodone
100 ng/mL.
100 ng/mL.
100 ng/mLOxycodone
100 ng/mL.
100 ng/mL.
6-Acetylmorphine10 ng/mL6-Acetylmorphine10 ng/mL.
Phencyclidine25 ng/mLPhencyclidine25 ng/mL.
500 ng/mLAmphetamine
250 ng/mL.
250 ng/mL.
250 ng/mL.
250 ng/mL.

1For grouped analytes (i.e., two or more analytes that are in the same drug class and have the same initial test cutoff):

Immunoassay: The test must be calibrated with one analyte from the group identified as the target analyte. The cross-reactivity of the immunoassay to the other analyte(s) within the group must be 80 percent or greater; if not, separate immunoassays must be used for the analytes within the group.

Alternate technology: Either one analyte or all analytes from the group must be used for calibration, depending on the technology. At least one analyte within the group must have a concentration equal to or greater than the initial test cutoff or, alternatively, the sum of the analytes present (i.e., equal to or greater than the laboratory’s validated limit of quantification) must be equal to or greater than the initial test cutoff.

2An immunoassay must be calibrated with the target analyte, Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (THCA).

3Alternate technology (THCA and Benzoylecgonine): When using an alternate technology initial test for the specific target analytes of THCA and Benzoylecgonine, the laboratory must use the same cutoff for the initial and confirmatory tests (i.e., 15 ng/mL for THCA and 100ng/mL for Benzoylecgonine).

4Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).

5Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA).

(b) On an initial drug test, you must report a result below the cutoff concentration as negative. If the result is at or above the cutoff concentration, you must conduct a confirmation test.

(c) On a confirmation drug test, you must report a result below the cutoff concentration as negative and a result at or above the cutoff concentration as confirmed positive.

(d) You must report quantitative values for morphine or codeine at 15,000 ng/mL or above.

[65 FR 79526, Dec. 19, 2000, as amended at 75 FR 49862, Aug. 16, 2010; 77 FR 26473, May 4, 2012; 82 FR 52244, Nov. 13, 2017]

Regulations and Requirements
For Each DOT Mode

DOT MODERegulation requiring Random TestingWho is subject to testing?
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)49 CFR
Part 382.305
All employers with drivers possessing a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), regardless of size, randomly test their CDL licensed drivers using a scientifically valid method. This includes Canadian and Mexican carriers whose drivers operate in the United States and who possess a Canadian CDL or a Licencia Federal de Conductor.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA);14 CFR Part 121
Appendix I and J
All Part 121 and Part 135 Certificate holders, an operator as defined in §135.1(c), or air traffic control facilities not operated by the FAA or by or under contract to the U.S. military comply with the anti-drug program regulations. Part 145 Repair Facilities are subject to these regulations.
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)49 CFR Part 219All covered employees who have been assigned to perform service in the United States subject to the hours of service laws (49 U.S.C. ch. 211) during a duty tour.
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)49 CFR Part 199All employees who perform an operations, maintenance, or emergency-response function regulated by part 192, 193, or 195 of this chapter that is performed on a pipeline or on an LNG facility. This includes all persons employed by operators, contractors engaged by operators, and persons employed by such contractors.
Federal Transit Administration (FTA)49 CFR Part 655All recipients and subrecipients receiving Federal assistance under (i) 49 U.S.C. 5307, 5309, or 5311; or (ii) 23 U.S.C. 103(e)(4) including contractors Safety Sensitive employees as defined by §655.4.
United States Coast Guard (USCG)46 CFR Part 16

Marine employers shall establish programs for the chemical testing for dangerous drugs on a random basis of crewmembers on inspected vessels who:

(1) Occupy a position, or perform the duties and functions of a position, required by the vessel ‘s Certificate of Inspection; (2) Perform the duties and functions of patrolmen or watchmen required by this chapter; or, (3) Are specifically assigned the duties of warning, mustering, assembling, assisting, or controlling the movement of passengers during emergencies.

Marine employers shall establish programs for the chemical testing for dangerous drugs on a random basis of crewmembers on uninspected vessels who:

(1) Are required by law or regulation to hold a license issued by the Coast Guard in order to perform their duties on the vessel; (2) Perform duties and functions directly related to the safe operation of the vessel; (3) Perform the duties and functions of patrolmen or watchmen required by this chapter; or, (4) Are specifically assigned the duties of warning, mustering, assembling, assisting, or controlling the movement of passengers during emergencies.




As a new hire, you are required to submit to a drug test. Employers may, but are not required to, conduct alcohol testing after your employer receives a negative drug test result (and negative alcohol test result – if administered) may you begin performing safety-sensitive functions. This also applies if you are a current employee transferring from a non-safety-sensitive function into a safety-sensitive position (even if it is the same employer).


You are required to submit to any test (whether drug, alcohol or both) that a supervisor requests based on reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion means that one or more trained supervisors reasonably believes or suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They cannot require testing based on a hunch or guess alone; their suspicion must be based on observations concerning your appearance, behavior, speech and smell that are usually associated with drug or alcohol use.


You are subject to unannounced random drug & alcohol testing. Alcohol testing is administered just prior to, during or just after performing safety-sensitive functions. Depending on the industry specific regulations, you may only be subject to random drug testing.

No manager, supervisor, official or agent may select you for testing just because they want to. Under DOT regulations, employers must use a truly random selection process. Each employee must have an equal chance to be selected and tested.

Just prior to the testing event, you will be notified of your selection and provided enough time to stop performing your safety sensitive function and report to the testing location. Failure to show for a test or interfering with the testing process can be considered a refusal.


If you are involved in an event (accident, crash, etc.) meeting certain criteria of the DOT agency, a post-accident test will be required. You will then have to take a drug test and an alcohol test. You are required to remain available for this testing and are not permitted to refuse testing.

Remember: Safety-sensitive employees are obligated by law to submit to and cooperate in drug & alcohol testing mandated by DOT regulations.


If you have violated the prohibited drug & alcohol rules, you are required to take a drug and/or alcohol test before returning to safety-sensitive functions for any DOT regulated employer. You are subject to unannounced follow-up testing at least 6 times in the first 12 months following your return to active safety-sensitive service.


The amount of follow-up testing you receive is determined by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and may continue for up to 5 years. This means the SAP will determine how many times you will be tested (at least 6 times in the first year), for how long, and for what substance (i.e. drugs, alcohol, or both). Your employer is responsible for ensuring that follow-up testing is conducted and completed, and your employer may have a policy that all follow-up tests are collected under direct observation. Follow-up testing is in addition to all other DOT required testing.

* USCG & PHMSA do not perform random alcohol tests.
* In post-accident testing, the FRA requires a blood specimen for drug testing.

The DOT performs alcohol testing in a manner to ensure the validity of the testing as well as provide confidentiality of the employee’s testing information.

At the start of the test, a Screening Test Technician (STT) or a Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT), using only a DOT-approved device, will:

    • Establish a private testing area to prevent unauthorized people from hearing or seeing your test result.
    • Require you to sign Step #2 of the Alcohol Testing Form (ATF).
    • Perform a screening test and show you the test result. If the screening test result is an alcohol concentration of less than 0.02, no further testing is authorized, and there is no DOT action to be taken. The technician will document the result on the ATF, provide you a copy and provide your employer a copy. If the screening test result is 0.02 or greater, you will be required to take a confirmation test, which can only be administered by BAT using an Evidential Breath Testing (EBT) device. The BAT will:
    • Wait at least 15 minutes, but not more than 30 minutes, before conducting the confirmation test. During that time, you will not be allowed to eat, drink, smoke, belch, put anything in your mouth or leave the testing area.


Leaving the testing area without authorization may be considered a refusal to test.

The Technician will then:

    • Perform an “air blank” (which must read 0.00) on the EBT device to ensure that there is no residual alcohol in the EBT or in the air around it.
    • Perform a confirmation test using a new mouthpiece.
    • Display the test result to you on the EBT and on the printout from the EBT.
    • Document the confirmation test result on the ATF, provide you a copy and provide your employer a copy.
    • Report any result of 0.02 or greater immediately to the employer. If after several attempts you are unable to provide an adequate amount of breath, the testing will be stopped. You will be instructed to take a medical evaluation to determine if there is an acceptable medical reason for not providing a sample. If it is determined that there is no legitimate physiological or psychological reason, the test will be treated as a refusal to test.

How do you know if you are taking a federal or a
private company alcohol test?

All DOT alcohol tests are documented with a form with the words Department of Transportation at the top.

Rule of Thumb: Comply then make a timely complaint.

If you are instructed to submit to a DOT drug or alcohol test and you don’t agree with the reason or rationale for the test, take the test anyway. Don’t interfere with the testing process or refuse the test. After the test, express your concerns to your employer through a letter to your company’s dispute resolution office, by following an agreed upon labor grievance or other company procedures. You can also express your concerns to the appropriate DOT agency drug & alcohol program office. Whomever you decide to contact, please contact them as soon as possible after the test.

DOT regulations prohibit you from refusing a test. The following are some examples of conduct that the regulations define as refusing a test (See 49 CFR Part 40 Subpart I & Subpart N):

  • Failure to appear for any test after being directed to do so by your employer.
  • Failure to remain at the testing site until the testing process is complete.
  • Failure to provide a urine or breath sample for any test required by federal regulations.
  • Failure to permit the observation or monitoring of you providing a urine sample (Please note tests conducted under direct observation or monitoring occur in limited situations. The majority of specimens are provided in private).
  • Failure to provide a sufficient urine or breath sample when directed, and it has been determined, through a required medical evaluation, that there was not adequate medical explanation for the failure.
  • Failure to take a second test when directed to do so.
  • Failure to cooperate with any part of the testing process.
  • Failure to undergo a medical evaluation as part of “shy bladder” or “shy lung” procedures.
  • Failure to sign Step #2 of the ATF.
  • For an observed collection, fail to follow the observer’s instructions to raise your clothing above the waist, lower clothing and underpants, and to turn around to permit the observer to determine if you have any type of prosthetic or other device that could be used to interfere with the collection process.
  •  Possess or wear a prosthetic or other device that could be used to interfere with the collection process.
  • Providing a specimen that is verified as adulterated or substituted.

If you test positive, refuse a test, or violate DOT drug & alcohol rules:

  • A supervisor or company official will immediately remove you from DOT regulated safety-sensitive functions.
  • You will not be permitted to return to performing DOT regulated safety sensitive duties until you have:
  • Undergone an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP);
  • Successfully completed any education, counseling or treatment prescribed by the SAP prior to returning to service; and
  • Provided a negative test result for drugs and a breath test less than 0.02 of alcohol. (Return to duty testing).
  • Upon return to a safety-sensitive job, you will be subject to unannounced testing for drugs and/or alcohol no less than 6 times during the first 12 months of active service with the possibility of unannounced testing for up to 60 months as prescribed by the Substance Abuse Professional, SAP.

2020 DOT Random Testing Rates Notice Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance


Random Drug Testing RateRandom Alcohol
Testing Rate
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Railroad Administration

25% – Covered Service

50% – Maintenance of Way

10% – Covered Service

25% – Maintenance of Way

Federal Transit Administration
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
50%Not Applicable
United States Coast Guard
50%Not Applicable

NOTE: Employers (and C/TPAs) subject to more than one DOT Agency drug and alcohol testing rule may continue to combine covered employees into a single random selection pool. However, companies (and C/TPAs) doing so must test at or above the highest minimum annual random testing rates established by the DOT Agencies under whose jurisdiction they fall. For example, an employer having both FMCSA- and FRA-covered employees in one pool must test, as a minimum rate, 50% for drugs and 10% for alcohol. PHMSA- and USCG-regulated employees should not to be placed in random alcohol testing pools. Contact the appropriate DOT Agency for additional clarification.

Please note that USCG covered employees may be combined with DOT covered employees in drug testing pools even though the USCG is now part of the Department of Homeland Security.