DOT drug tests really aren’t different than any other kind of drug test. I hear from a fair number of people who have to take them, worried that they’re harder to pass. But the only thing that makes them different is the fact that the requirements for a DOT drug test are set at the federal level.
What Is A DOT Drug Test?
For those who may not know, DOT stands for ‘Department of Transportation’. People who have to take a DOT drug test include anyone who drives a large truck or bus for a living, and any workers who are remotely involved with those vehicles – which is basically anyone in the same company.
A federal agency called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has about a hundred pages of regulations that both employers and labs have to follow when administering DOT drug tests. But fortunately, most of those regulations simply cover the details about the paperwork that has to be done. The drug tests themselves are basically carried out just like they are for any other employer. Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them seriously – it just means that you don’t have any extra cause for concern just because you’re taking a DOT drug test as opposed to any other kind.
Does The Dilution Method Work For DOT Drug Tests?
Since the FMCSA requires that a DOT drug test be a urinalysis, then yes, dilution will work fine. At least, it will be if you happen to be a pot smoker.
You’ll be given a standard 5-panel test that looks for other toxins as well, so if you do more than just smoke pot you’ll need to be aware of their detection periods and plan accordingly.
For most other drugs besides weed, detection periods are measured in days, not weeks. THC cannabanoids are kind of in a class by themselves because of the way they’re stored in the body (in your fat cells), which is why marijuana use can be detected so much longer than other drugs.
What’s The Best Way To Pass A DOT Drug Test?
For a routine piss test, federal law doesn’t require you to be observed. So you can dilute, as long as you do it CORRECTLY. When you do it right, you’re genuinely able to give a clean, ‘undiluted’ specimen right on the spot.
Of course you could also substitute, as long as you have access to clean pee and you’re able to keep it at the right temperature. You might also be able to use synthetic urine, which is mostly reliable.
But a few labs are able to detect certain ‘markers’ in synthetic urine that give it away. It’s a cat & mouse game that is always changing, so you just never know. Which is why I recommend that you use a ‘real powdered urine kit’ instead, if you can get your hands on one. It’s literally real human urine, and as long as the temperature is in the right range it’s a guaranteed pass.
HOWEVER – if you’ve recently failed a test, or if you’re coming back to work after being off because of an accident or something like that, then your drug test WILL be supervised.
For DOT Drug Tests, There Are Two Problems With Using Dilution
Federal regulations don’t require on-the-spot random tests for DOT tests. So most DOT employers schedule routine drug tests, and you don’t have to worry about being randomly tested. But if you happen to work for a real jerk who prefers to surprise his employees, then you’re in trouble.
Dilution won’t work in a situation where you aren’t given at least a couple hours notice. In that situation, I hate to say it but you’re pretty much screwed. I sure wish I could invent a magic pill that would help pot smokers pass on a minute’s notice, because I’d be a millionaire.
Another situation where you might be screwed is if you’re being RE-TESTED. This one is hard to predict, because it depends on the individual circumstances in your case. But there’s always a chance that for a re-test, your specimen will be tested at a much lower tolerance level, 15ng/ml instead of 50ng/ml.
Unless you stopped smoking for at least a few weeks prior, then it will be virtually impossible to dilute enough to get your metabolite levels below a 15ng/ml cut-off.
But USUALLY, if you’re being asked to give a whole new specimen, then it means you’re going to be tested at the higher tolerance level first…
So What’s The Take-Away?
First, you’d better hope and pray that your DOT drug test is scheduled, and not random. If it’s a routine test and you know you won’t be observed, then substitution is definitely worth considering. And if you have a scheduled test that even might be supervised, then you can dilute, but in that situation the chances are slightly higher that you’ll be tested at the lower tolerance level of 15ng/ml.
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