|If you’re a CDL driver who has failed a pre-employment drug test, this article provides answers to every question about failing a drug test and the career implications.|
We also provide a step-by-step guide (and video) on how to get your CDL job back as quickly and safely as possible with the DOT SAP return-to-duty program.
What Happens If You Fail a Pre Employment Drug Test?
Whether you’re facing a pre-employment drug screen, random, or post-accident test, the consequences of a failed drug test can seem daunting.
“Understanding exactly what is going to happen after a failed drug test will better prepare you for what you need to do next.”
Immediate Removal from Safety-Sensitive Functions
Once you have failed a drug test, your authorization to perform safety-sensitive tasks like operating a commercial motor vehicle is immediately revoked.
Referral to a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)
In accordance with DOT regulations, you’ll be required to consult with a DOT qualified SAP (DOT licensed and approved) who will assess your situation, recommend a course of action, and supervise your progress.
If you need to find a DOT qualified SAP near you, search SapList using your local zip code. In Texas, call 817-781-7235 for a free phone consultation with a SAP counselor or click appointment to schedule an evaluation online.
Potential Job Loss or Missed Opportunity
A failed a pre-employment drug test situation can cost you the job opportunity, while failing a random or post-accident test may lead to termination from your current role, depending on company employment policies.
“A failed drug test can cost you a potential job opportunity or even your current role.”
Future Employment Impact
A failed drug test will be recorded in the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, also impacting your ability to secure future CDL jobs.
Better to Fail a Drug Test or Refuse a Drug Test?
It’s crucial to understand that failing and refusing a DOT drug test both result in disqualification from safety-sensitive functions.
However, there are key differences:
Failing a Drug Test with CDL
Failing a drug test indicates that you participated in the test and tested positive for prohibited substances.
In this case, you’ll have to follow the SAP process to become eligible for CDL jobs again.
Refusing a Drug Test
Refusing a drug test is considered a violation of DOT regulations and can lead to additional legal consequences.
Refusing includes not providing a sufficient sample, tampering with the sample, or failing to appear for the test.
Difference Between a DOT Drug Test and a Pre Employment Drug Test?
DOT Drug Tests
“Your employer may have a policy that requires you to report your prescribed medications to them. So check with your employer.”
Pre-Employment Drug Tests
What Drugs Are Detected on a DOT Drug Test?
“The DOT 5-panel drug screening actually tests for 14 drugs as explained in this report.”
How to Return to Duty After Failing a Pre Employment Drug Test
“The SAP return-to-duty program involves an individualized treatment process, including evaluation, treatment, and follow-up testing.”
Click to Watch DOT SAP Program Explained in 60 Second Video ⏯️
What Is The Return To Duty Process?
How To Explain a Failed Drug Test To a Potential Employer?
“Trying to hide it or lying can lead to mistrust, which could damage your chances of getting hired more than the failed test itself.”
“If you’ve been working with a DOT qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and have completed a return-to-duty program, this information can be easily verified in the FMCSA Clearinghouse and restore your eligibility for CDL jobs.”
What Steps Should I Take Immediately After Failing a DOT Drug Test?
- Don’t Panic: Stay calm and collected. While daunting, it’s important to remember there are steps to take to manage the situation effectively.
- Stop Safety-Sensitive Tasks: According to DOT regulations, drivers who have failed a drug test must immediately stop performing safety-sensitive tasks, like operating a commercial vehicle.
- Consult a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP): It’s essential to meet with a DOT-qualified SAP, who will assess your situation and provide recommendations for a course of action. Cooperation with your SAP is crucial.
- Follow SAP Recommendations: Your SAP may recommend education, treatment, counseling, or a combination of these depending on your situation. It’s crucial to adhere to these recommendations to ensure a smooth return-to-duty process.
- Prepare for Follow-Up Evaluation and Testing: After completing the recommended course by the SAP, be ready for a follow-up evaluation. If the SAP determines you’re ready, you’ll then take a return-to-duty drug test. Remember, to return to safety-sensitive duties, a negative drug test result is required.
“Failing a DOT drug test is a serious matter, but by completing the DOT SAP return-to-duty program, you can navigate the situation effectively and return to your job safely.”
How Can I Find a Substance Abuse Counselor Near Me?
- Understand the Role of a SAP: A DOT qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) plays a critical role in helping drivers return to duty after failing a drug test. They assess your situation, recommend a course of action, and supervise your progress.
- Search SAP Lists: Utilize resources like SapList or Psychology Today to find a DOT SAP near you. Just enter your zip code in the search bar and explore the DOT approved SAP counselors in your area.
“Searching online resources like SapList is a convenient way to find qualified SAP counselors near you.”
- Consider State-Specific Services: If you’re located in Texas, reach out to Rainey Counseling Services at 817-781-7235 for a free phone consultation. They offer in-person and virtual assessment and serve as a preferred provider for many trucking companies.
- Schedule an Assessment: Once you’ve selected a SAP, schedule an initial assessment and evaluation. This step is crucial in determining the next course of action for your return-to-duty process.
- Follow Through: After the initial consultation, make sure to follow through with any recommendations made by your SAP. This is a crucial part of demonstrating your commitment to the return-to-duty process.
“Remember, successfully completing the SAP return-to-duty program will be updated and available to potential employers in the FMCSA Clearinghouse.”
Frequently Asked Questions 🙋
Will my CDL be suspended if I fail a drug test?
Failing a drug test does not automatically result in the suspension of your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), but you will be immediately removed from performing safety-sensitive functions, including driving a commercial vehicle.
Does the DOT drug test screen for CBD?
No. However, the labeling of many CBD products may be misleading because the products could contain higher levels of THC than what the product label states. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently certify the levels of THC in CBD products, so there is no Federal oversight to ensure that the labels are accurate.
Are truck drivers allowed to use prescribed medical marijuana?
No. The DOT does not authorize “medical marijuana” under a state law to be a valid medical explanation for a CDL driver’s failed drug test.
How long does it take for Delta 8 to leave your system?
The time Delta 8 THC takes to leave your system can vary based on several factors, including frequency of use, metabolism, and body fat. Generally, it can take up to 30 days for Delta 8 THC to be completely eliminated from your system, but this can vary from person to person.
Does a failed drug test show up on a background check?
Yes! For CDL holders, if a pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return-to-duty, or follow-up drug test is failed, the result is reported to the Clearinghouse.
This means that if a prospective employer is conducting a background check through the Clearinghouse (which is a requirement for all FMCSA-regulated employers), a failed drug test will show up.
What do pre employment drug test look for?
The DOT uses a 5-panel or 10-panel drug test to screen for substances such as marijuana metabolites, cocaine metabolites, amphetamines, opioids, and phencyclidine. For a detailed list, visit DOT’s official guide.
What is the difference between a DOT drug test and a pre-employment drug test?
DOT pre-employment drug tests are federally mandated for safety-sensitive positions, such as CDL jobs. In contrast, pre-employment drug tests for non-DOT-regulated positions are based on employer policies.
How long does tramadol stay in your system?
Unlike other legal and illicit opiates, tramadol is undetectable on standard 5 panel drug test, appearing only on more advanced drug screening, typically detectable for up to 4 days.
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