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Drug Tests in UPS and Other Transportation Companies

Attending a drug test is not a pleasant experience, even if you do not use opiates. And if you are working in some of the reputable transportation or trucking companies, know that such tests are standard. They can be announced or random, depending on how strict your employer is.

Since their services are related to travelers or goods of a specific value, safety and security are in the first place. The same stands for shipping and delivery package companies like UPS, as seen on

Drivers working in all kinds of transportation companies have to be maximally focused on their work. Whether you are just applying for or already employed at a position requiring frequent analyses of the use of illegal substances, the driving of a commercial vehicle will be possible only after negative result on a drug test.

Explanation of DOT Drug Screen

In any form of transport, safety should come first. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has prescribed strict drug-free regulations for all companies involved in the transport of goods and passengers and companies have anything to do with traffic. The program of conducting drug screening is quite rigorous, with very high standards that serve to respect public order and security.

Employees in transportation are tested for several types of opiates (marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, amphetamines, and even some conventional medication), considering how many people use light drugs for medical or recreational purposes.

Regardless of your reasons, you aren’t allowed to use any opiate if you want to work in this industrial branch. Therefore, the DOT requires a negative drug test result, or at least within the permitted limits (but only for certain substances).

Types of Drug Tests that Transportation Companies Use

Given that the checks of transport employees are quite often, it can affect the working process. Apart from the fact that the performance of drug test costs, people leaving the workplace to do a drug test is also an expense in the form of missed earnings or reduced working performance. Employers have to find an acceptable solution on how to carry out these analyses regularly, with a lesser impact on the business.

Urinalysis is a way of testing the presence of illicit substances most transport companies use. It is easy to perform, the sampling procedure is short, and the testing procedure is more straightforward than with other drug tests. Urinalysis is a proven method in post-accidental situations, as it may indicate immediate use of opiates.

Here’s what you can expect when you got hurt at the workplace:

Employers rarely opt for hair or swab tests.  You can’t always get a hair sample (what if someone is bald?), while the saliva test is not considered too reliable. Breathalyzers have no purpose in people taking opiates because they can’t detect drug traces in the breath.

The blood drug test is quite expensive and requires a more complicated procedure for checking the sample. However, in cases requiring a detailed check of an employee, employers decide to examine their blood.

When Do Employers Conduct Drug Tests?

Drug screening is used to prevent accidents caused by people working in transportation. Therefore, employers perform mandatory testing during the pre-employment process, but also during work. Transportation companies should conduct these analyses often because their employees have significant responsibility and sometimes, high-risk jobs.

The employer has the right to check employees at any time if there is reasonable doubt or their behavior indicates the use of illegal substances. Return-to-duty is another situation when a drug test is carried out. This happens when a worker has a positive result on some previous random testing, so he was removed from work for a while.

The sanction for a positive drug test result is getting fired; in case of an accident, employees will pay some kind of penalty too. Sometimes workplace accidents happen even without the presence of illegal substances. In that case, regular post-accident checks are a must, whether the worker was under the influence of opiates or not.

Risks of Taking Drugs for Professional Drivers

There is no harmless drug. Each type of opiate affects the nervous system in such a way that it is conflicting with safe driving behavior. Drivers who are under the influence of drugs usually don’t notice changes in abilities and behavior and reduced psycho-motor functions.

Drug effects can be very different for different people; they also depend on drug type, way of use, etc. Some light drugs give a mild feeling of euphoria and perfection, which means that reflexes and perception of the driver are weak. This behavior increases the risk when you are in and out of traffic.

Drugs like cocaine that affect emotions and behavior stimulate the nervous system. They lead to feelings of excitement and more energy, which can lead to more aggressive and faster driving. The problem is that, apart from an uncontrollable speed, drivers can lose control of the vehicles, and endanger the other traffic participants.

Can You Say No to Drug Test?

The answer is simple – you can, if you are aware of the risk. Sometimes the rejection of the test has the same complexity as a positive result. No employers will tolerate any of these situations. If you have been a good worker so far, you will probably get a second chance if you prove to the employer that you are clean (sometimes you have to repeat testing several times).

Besides, the law suggests people who fail a drug test to visit an advisor. These experts can help them in overcoming addiction issues and introduce them to further steps in order to make the following tests negative.

If the employer has reason to suspect illicit substance abuse, and the employee refuses to undergo testing, such behavior may be suspicious. The sanction can be the cancellation of the labor contract, but also the taking of the license for life.

If you use drugs, you must be aware that your employer can schedule a drug test sooner or later. Apart from affecting the quality of your life, illegal substances can jeopardize your existence. If a drug test shows a positive result (or you for some reason refuse to do it), further employment will not be easy.