DOT Revises Drug Testing Regulations


The Department of Transportation has issued a final rule that revises the drug-testing program for DOT-regulated employers.

DOT-regulated employers are required to drug test certain safety-sensitive transportation industry employees. Significant program changes of relevance to employers include the following:

  • In order to combat the “nation-wide epidemic of opioid abuse,” four semi-synthetic opioids (hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone) have been added to the drug-testing panel.
  • Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) has been added as an initial test analyte.
  • Methylenedioxyethylamphetaime (MDEA) has been removed from the existing testing panel (the newly-added MDA is a metabolite of MDEA).
  • The blind specimen requirement, under which employers and consortium/third party administrators (C/TPAs) must submit blinds to a HHS-certified laboratory for quality control purposes, has been eliminated. This requirement was deemed unnecessary and burdensome.
  • Three “fatal flaws” have been added to the list of flaws that would cause a test to be canceled.
  • A process for dealing with a questionable specimen in cases involving a “shy bladder” (where a second specimen cannot be obtained) has been set forth.