Fact or Myth?
Random Substance Abuse Testing
Myth: Random testing is when an employer determines which individual(s) will be tested and when the test will occur.
Fact: Random means each person chosen for drug or alcohol testing has the same equal chance of being tested as any other person in the eligible pool listing each time a selection is made.
Random testing is the scientific method of selecting an individual(s) for substance abuse and alcohol testing based on matching the individual's identification number (such as social security number or payroll number) to a random number generator or table.
Myth: All employers in transportation-related commerce must perform random testing.
Fact: Employers who operate a commercial motor vehicle in commerce in any state as specified in Section 382.103 of the Federal Register (DOT) are required to perform random testing. Exceptions are noted in Section 390.3(f) and Section 382.103(d).
Myth: DOT and non-DOT covered personnel can be in the same random testing pool.
Fact: DOT covered personnel must be in a separate random testing pool from non-DOT personnel.
It is considered a violation of the federal guidelines to misrepresent the reason for the testing process, and it would impede the integrity of the random selection process if both DOT and non-DOT personnel were in the same testing pool.
Myth: Alcohol testing is required each time an individual is chosen for a DOT random drug test.
Fact: Alcohol testing is not required each time an individual is chosen for a DOT random drug test.
The minimum annual percentage rates for drug and alcohol testing are different. Fifty percent of covered personnel must submit to drug testing; while ten percent must submit to random alcohol testing. Exceptions are noted in Section 382.305©-(e) and (f)-(h).