No matter what position you have at work, illicit drug use can affect job performance and put at risk the lives of other people, if you are a safety-sensitive employee. For positions that demand operating heavy machinery or the well-being and safety of others, employers should especially be attentive to drug use among their employees. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence estimates that drug abuse costs companies approximately $81 billion each year. Drug use can also affect workplace concentration and judgment and, if illegal drugs are involved, could put the employer at risk. Have your employees drug tested prior to employment to reduce risk in your company.

When should a Pre-Employment test be done?

-Before starting a new position or prior to hiring




Random Drug and Alcohol tests are crucial to deterring drug use among your employees. With the thought that the employee may be selected at any time for a test, the likelihood of them using illicit drugs is reduced dramatically.



Time Limitations for Post-Accident Testing

-Employee must remain readily available for testing.

-Alcohol & Drug testing must begin as soon as practicable following the accident.

-Alcohol test should be completed before starting the drug test.

FTA Post-Accident Thresholds

-A DOT post-accident txt should be performed when there is an occurrence associated with the operation of a transportation vehicle, if as a result:


1.An individual dies


Unless the transit employee’s performance can be completely discounted as a contributing factor to the accident.

2. An Individual suffers bodily injury and immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; 0r

3. A vehicle incurs disabling damage as the result of the occurrence and a vehicle is transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other vehicle; or

4. The transportation vehicle is removed from operation




Employer must conduct a drug and/or alcohol test when a qualified supervisor/company official has reasonable suspicion to believe that a covered employee has engaged in prohibited drug use and/or alcohol misuse.

How is it determined if a reasonable suspicion test should be used?

Reasonable Suspicion test determination must:

a) Be made by a single authorized and trained supervisor/company official.

b) Be based on a specific observation made by the supervisor/company official concerning:




-Body Odor

c) Be made immediately following the observation

d) Be documented as soon as possible

If alcohol testing is delayed more than 2 hours since the initial observations, document the reason for the delay. If a delay of 8 hours or more occurs, cease attempts to conduct the test.

If you will request an employee to take a reasonable suspicion test, here are some tips:

  1. Discuss face-to-face and in private.
  2. Keep a safe distance
  3. Inquire and observe
  4. Express concern for both the employee and public safety
  5. Refer to regulation/employer’s policy
  6. Describe observations that prompted concern.
  7. Stick to objective facts; avoid feelings, hunches, or beliefs.
  8. Explain the need for the test
  9. Focus on performance, not personal.
  10. Be respectful.
  11. Be brief and to the point.
  12. Protect employee’s confidentiality.


-Be confrontational or argumentative

-Solicit a Confession

-Diagnose an employee as having a problem

-Accuse an employee of illegal drug use