“This whole thing could have been avoided if they inform drivers, but this driver has had a CDL since 2014 so I still believe he got p***ed off and marched out.”

 – from an email from a colleague.

This is a Refusal To Test. Under DOT regulations, a Refusal To Test is a violation that is treated the same as failing a drug or alcohol test. 

Read more about the consequences of Refusal to Test.

And this one may have been prevented had the employer done what he was supposed to do.

What happens if you fail a DOT drug or alcohol test?

It’s bad. 

Briefly, the Return To Duty process:

  • A DOT-regulated employee must IMMEDIATELY stop performing safety-sensitive work.
  • S/he is required to visit a SAP and must successfully complete a treatment program.
  • After that, s/he must complete a Return To Duty drug (and sometimes alcohol) test. 
  • Follow Up Testing can last as long as 5 years.
  • AND the whole thing gets reported to the FMCSA Clearinghouse.

Most Refusals are what they appear to be: an employee declining to be tested.

Some, however, can be due to a misunderstanding. Still, in the eyes of the DOT, a Refusal is a Refusal. 

Collection sites are not the only place a refusal can occur.

A common type of Refusal is when a donor leaves the collection site before completing the test. Many times this occurs after the donor has provided a urine specimen whose temperature is out of range (too hot or too cold = smuggled).  When directed to provide a second specimen under direct observation, many donors opt-out and leave. Refusal.

Sometimes the donor cannot provide enough urine to conduct the drug test. In such cases, the donor is allowed up to 3 hours and up to 40 ounces of water and is not permitted to leave until s/he produces a specimen (shy bladder). 

Many frustrated donors leave the collection site. This is a Refusal To Test and a violation. This is what happened in the example above.

Trained collectors will usually inform the donor of these rules, but they are not required to. 

So how is the donor to know this is the rule? If it’s not the collector’s responsibility to tell them, then whose is it? 

If you are the employer, it is your responsibility.

Under DOT regulations, employers are required to provide Employee Education. The DOT even provides the document employers are to provide. 

On-Page 7:

If you are unable to provide 45 mL of urine on the first attempt, the time will be noted, and you will be:

  •  Required to remain in the testing area under the supervision of the collection site personnel, their supervisor, or a representative from your company,
  • Leaving the testing area without authorization may be considered a refusal to test 

Are you providing Employee Education materials to all regulated employees?

At InOut Labs, all new DOT-regulated clients are provided the tools they need to stay compliant with DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements, including this document and a receipt to document you have provided it.

Wanna join us? www.inoutlabs.com/consortium