How Do I Get My CDL Back After Failing a Drug Test?

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How Do I Get My CDL Back After Failing a Drug Test?

Getting Your CDL Back After Failing a Drug Test

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires their employees to take drug tests regularly, and failing a DOT drug test can cost you your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Fortunately, if you fail a drug test while holding a CDL, there is an appeals process that may allow you to get your license back.


So, how do you get your CDL back after failing a drug test? You need to complete an SAP evaluation and program to get your CDL back. An SAP is a Substance Abuse Professional, and this individual will evaluate you and create a recovery program in accordance with DOT policies.


This process can look different for everyone, depending on the circumstances surrounding your situation.

How to Get Your CDL Back After Failing a Drug Test

When you work for the DOT and have your CDL, you have to pass drug and alcohol tests at regular and random intervals. This is to ensure that you’re staying sober on the job for both your own and others’ safety. If you fail one of these tests, your CDL will be revoked.


Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get your CDL (and your job, if that’s on the table) reinstated after failing a drug test


First, you will need to find a DOT-approved SAP and contact them for an evaluation. Evolution Mental Health Services has SAPs that conduct this assessment in compliance with DOT regulations.


After you complete your evaluation, the SAP will assess your needs and create a recovery program tailored to those needs. Once the plan is approved by the DOT and the SAP, you must complete it in order to have your CDL reinstated so that you can go back to work.


The SAP recovery plan can include anything from attending educational classes about substance abuse to participating in rehabilitation programs. You may also be required to submit proof that you have completed these steps before your CDL can be reinstated.


Finally, once all of these steps are complete, you will need to take and pass a follow-up drug test in order to get your CDL back.


This whole process can take several months to complete, depending on the complexity of your situation. However, if you follow the process closely and comply with all of the requirements, it is possible to regain your CDL and get back to work.


These steps may seem daunting, but they are necessary to ensure that you return to work safely and without the risk of another drug test failure. By taking the time and effort to go through the entire process, you can get your CDL back and/or continue working for the DOT.

What a DOT Drug Test Consists Of

When it comes to drug testing by the DOT, there are two types of tests that you may be required to take. These are pre-employment and random drug tests.


Pre-employment drug tests are conducted before being hired for a job and will typically include five different substances: marijuana/THC, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP).


Random drug tests are administered randomly, usually at least once a year (but usually more like once a quarter), or when there is reasonable cause to suspect that you might be using drugs. The DOT also often conducts drug tests after an employee is involved in an accident.


These tests check for the same five substances as pre-employment drug tests and can take place anytime during your employment with the DOT.


These tests are done to keep employees safe and healthy while on the job in addition to protecting any passengers or passersby in your vicinity. If you fail one of these tests, you will be subject to disciplinary action, and your CDL will be revoked.


Who is subject to DOT drug tests? Any employee who is subject to the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing regulations must take part in these tests. This includes everyone from truck drivers to railroad workers and those who work for public transit systems, such as buses and taxis.


How long does a  positive DOT drug test stay on your record? A positive DOT drug test usually remains on your record for about 12 months after you complete your Return to Duty Process as outlined by your SAP.


How far back does a urine drug test go? A urine drug test usually screens for drugs in the system within the past 1-3 days. However, some drugs can stay in your system for up to 30 days or more.