Is a Drug Screening Part of the DOT Medical Exam?

Is a Drug Screening Part of the DOT Medical Exam?

The Department of Transportation (DOT) Physical Medical Exam that all commercial motor vehicle drivers must take assesses whether a driver can handle a commercial motor vehicle, such as an 18-wheeler or any form of public transit, for many hours each day. The doctor performing the exam conducts several tests to determine if the driver may cause a potential traffic hazard if their medical conditions interfere with their driving.

What Is the DOT Physical Medical Exam?

The DOT Exam’s purpose is to check whether a driver is in good health and can operate a commercial motor vehicle without any risks or potential danger. A commercial driver who has health issues such as diabetes, poor vision, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure could put themselves and others at risk if their conditions become unmanageable while behind the wheel. A DOT exam’s primary purpose is to ensure all unsafe commercial drivers are not allowed on the road, helping to make the highways safer for all who travel on them.

Are Drug Tests a Part of the DOT Exam?

Because the exam is responsible for determining if an individual can drive safely, many people wonder if there is a drug test included with the DOT physical. The requirements for the test, which the Department of Transportation enforces, do not include drug testing.

However, If a company requires all drivers to take a pre-employment drug test, they may request you have your drug screening at the same time as your DOT physical for convenience. This drug test usually screens for common drugs such as cocaine, opiates, marijuana, amphetamines/methamphetamines, and phencyclidine.

A urinalysis is part of the process as it screens the driver’s kidney’s for possible medical issues. It checks for any sugar, blood, protein, or other contaminants in the urine. Therefore, drivers will need to provide a urine sample during their physical, but it is not for drug testing purposes unless requested by their employer.

What Tests Are a part of the Physical?

Along with the urinalysis, there are several other tests performed during the exam. These tests are similar to those you would receive while visiting your primary care physician for an annual checkup. The doctor or practitioner who is administering the test will check your vision and hearing. If you happen to fail either of these tests, don’t worry. You may simply need to get corrective lenses, change your eyeglass prescription, or use a hearing aid to ensure your hearing is at its best while on the road.

The doctor will also check your heart rate, pulse, and lungs to ensure no breathing issues or problems with your pulse rate. They will check your blood pressure at this time as well and will let you know if any irregularities are discovered. It is possible to fail this portion of the exam. However, you can fix some of the issues with medication or lifestyle changes.

During your physical, you may be asked if you are up to date on all your vaccinations. Typically, doctors providing a DOT exam will make sure you’ve had all your Hepatitis A and B vaccines as well as the flu vaccine and a shot for Polio/Tetanus/Typhoid.

Where to Find DOT Physicals Near Me

If you need to schedule a DOT Exam, contact the BASS Urgent Care team for assistance. We can provide a fast and convenient exam that’s close to home. Give us a call today at (925) 350-4044 for more information. We look forward to helping you complete this critical task and answering any questions you may have.