Random Drug and Alcohol Testing

Random Drug and Alcohol Testing


A proven way to deter drug and alcohol use in the workplace while maintaining workplace safety and health.

Random drug and alcohol testing is an effective way to deter substance misuse in the workplace and helps reduce safety risks. If your company’s OSHA random drug testing program or DOT random drug testing program is not having the desired effect of reducing workplace incidents and you’re seeing employees testing positive following incidents, or if you must meet U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, a random drug and alcohol testing program should be implemented.

Our experienced professionals will help you determine when to administer a random drug test and to whom, using computer-generated programs that guarantee random selection. We also handle all record-keeping, ensuring that the random drug screening process is objective.

Can An Employer Randomly Drug Test?

Employers can request drug or alcohol testing for jobs with a safety-sensitive function in four different circumstances. For random drug testing, reasonable cause testing, post-incident drug testing, and for pre-employment testing. However, there are several requirements and restrictions that exist for drug and alcohol testing in these types of situations.

How Random Drug Screening Works

  • A percentage of the total pool of employees is tested annually, with each employee having the exact same chance of being selected (or not) with every random draw made.
  • For defensibility, we use computer-generated programs using approved algorithms to perform these selections that are within DOT random drug testing time limits.
  • We follow industry best practices to ensure a successful random program and prohibit adding weight to certain individuals to increase the chance of them being selected or removing individuals from the pool once they have been selected to ensure a different set of employees are drawn each time.

As an Employer How to Prepare for Random Drug Testing

Employers should keep in mind that random drug testing should be used in very limited circumstances. To justify random testing, the employer must be able to demonstrate that there are inherent risks in the workplace and that these risks make the work highly dangerous or could result in the occurrence of workplace accidents. Random drug testing policies must be narrowly targeted, using the least intrusive or most accurate testing measures available.

Typically, any random drug testing policy needs to balance the employer’s interest in job safety and performance against the employee’s right to privacy and bodily integrity if a urine sample is requested. The employer’s interest must be proportional to any limit on an employee’s privacy interest.

One potential justification for random drug testing may be if the employer provides evidence of a significant substance abuse problem in the workplace that contributed to an incident and the testing is being used to evaluate the root of a suspected problem. However, the substance abuse must be significant and must not be unrelated to the reporting.

If an employer has a reason to believe that there is a significant substance abuse issue in the workplace, the employer should gather specific evidence to support their claim. This evidence can include:

  • Observing employees with alcohol on their breath or smelling of marijuana
  • Reports of work-related injuries or illnesses
  • Finding evidence of alcohol or drugs present on the job site
  • Documenting all instances of drug and alcohol abuse


Download the Random Testing datasheet.

Download the Random Testing: Commonly Asked Questions.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you or to arrange for random drug and alcohol testing in Canada.