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  • Writer's pictureNilima

Failing A Drug Test: When Will You Have To Take A Drug Test?

While many of us may think that drug tests are something that only happens to hardened criminals – or athletes suspected of steroid use, they are a lot more common than you might think.

An average American citizen might find themselves subject to a drug test in the course of either looking for employment or when employed with certain companies.

Many employers are concerned with the growing use of illegal or illicit drugs by their workforce. According to a study released by Quest Diagnostics, around 4.2 percent of the workforce across the United States tested positive for drugs in 2016.

According to the study, the failed drug tests were usually due to cocaine, amphetamine, or marijuana use. Failed drug tests among the workforce are also commonly caused by opioid use.

What is a drug test?

Generally speaking, a drug test is when a biological specimen – such as urine, hair, blood, breath, sweat, and oral fluids is taken from someone and analyzed to determine the presence or absence of certain drugs or substances.

In some areas of the United States, certain situations might call for you to have some sort of drug test. The results of that drug test could influence your future in some way.

There are a growing number of companies that require a drug test as part of their pre-employment screening process. Due to concerns over the rising levels of illicit drug use among the workforce, many companies are also starting to conduct random drug tests among their employees. Drug tests employed in these situations are to detect the use of drugs that are prohibited by law and could affect a person's career and future with the company.

Police officers and law enforcement agencies might also submit suspects to drug tests to look for the presence of illegal substances. Passing or failing a drug test under these circumstances could determine if you are in violation of the law and could influence the charges that are brought against you.

Technically speaking, a breathalyzer is a "drug" test, because they are seeking to determine the levels of a substance, in this case, alcohol in your blood.

There are also, of course, some athletic competitions or organizations that might require members to take drug tests. Usually, what they are testing for her is the presence of performance-enhancing drugs which could disqualify an athlete.

How is a drug test usually conducted?

For most of us, the pre-employment drug test is likely to be the only type of drug test that we get administered. This is commonly done by collecting and testing a urine sample and is part of the pre-employment checkup. A drug test conducted by taking a urine sample is called a urinalysis.

If your employer does random drug testing, it’s also likely that they will take a test a urine sample from you.

If you test positive on a drug test, it usually means that the drug concentration found in the sample that you give is greater than the cut-off level, so you failed that drug test.

What happens if you fail a drug test?

If you fail a drug test as part of a pre-employment qualification, the company will likely reject your application. If you failed a random drug test given by your current employer, that is grounds for termination.

However, a failed pre-employment drug test or even a random drug test administered to employees remains relatively private. The company keeps the results, but they are not released to the public.

So, if you failed a pre-employment drug test for one company, you can actually still get another job with another company. Unless, of course, you fail the drug test in that other company as well.

If you were terminated for failing a drug test, that information also should stay between you and your previous employer. Even if another company looking to employ you calls your previous company for a reference check, it cannot be revealed that you were terminated due to failing a drug test.

Of course, when it comes to the criminal justice system, there are more severe repercussions for failing a drug test.

For example, failing a breathalyzer test can result in a DUI arrest and charge. Parolees are often required to take regular drug tests and, if a parolee fails a drug test, they could be found in violation of the terms of their parole. In such cases you can take help from the best criminal defense attorney.

The results of a failed drug test for a parolee can be severe. The parole officer will write a violation report taking note of your failed test. This will be forwarded to a judge who could either issue a warning or revoke parole altogether. The final decision of the judge will be influenced by the parolee's history, if they've failed a drug test before, the judge is likely to make a sterner decision.

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