Drug Testing in the Workplace

Frequently Asked Questions: Drugs in the Workplace

Q: I am an employee (for example, truck driver, merchant mariner, pilot, etc) covered under the DOT regulations. Can you give me specific information on the DOT regulations?

Please call DOT directly at 202-366-3784 or visit its website at www.dot.gov/ost/dapc.

Q: What percentage of random tests should be conducted each year for an employer to maintain an effective deterrence and detection program?

There is no established optimum percentage of random tests that will ensure the most effective deterrence and detection program. Logically, a very small percentage (e.g., 5 percent) may not be sufficient to deter or detect someone abusing an illicit substance, while a very high percentage (e.g., 95 percent) might be much more than is needed to maintain an effective program.

The Department of Transportation permits the percentage of random tests to vary depending on the positive rate. In some cases, an industry is permitted to test at a 10 percent random rate while another industry is required to test at a 50 percent rate. Please contact DOT at 202-366-3784 for additional information on its policy.